Tuesday, June 3, 2014


 Dear Readers,
Paul Jenkins
         You may have noticed that I have been trying to get the Johannesburg based The Citizen newspaper to be responsible by ceasing to carrying unbelievable advertisements. They promise all kinds of miraculous health cures with medicine that does such things as enlarging your manhood. Then there are lucky wallets that make you rich over night and instant answers to just about all life’s problems.
         When my first post THE CITIZEN’S ALLADIN’S CAVE OF UNBELIEVABLE ADVERTS (Unbelievable adshad no affect I tried South Africa’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
         This authority that is supposed to police advertising rejected my complaints out of hand even though it had previously ruled against similar advertising (Ridiculous ads).
         The ASA passed me on to the Print & Digital Media SA (PDMSA), an organisation of virtually all South Africa’s media owners that has the Caxton & CTP Group, the owners of The Citizen as one of its members.
         It too refused to take any action even though it claims to promote high standards and integrity within the print and digital media industries (Appalling hypocrisy).
         Next I tried to contact Terry Moolman, Caxton’s co-founder and CEO who is the controlling shareholder of a group that turns over R5-billion year. From the beginning that appeared even more hopeless than my other efforts.
A rare picture of TERRY MOOLMAN

         Dubbed The Invisible Media Baron he keeps such a low profile that when I phoned his flagship paper The Citizen and asked for him the girl on the switchboard had never heard of him. EHe heads an empire that consists of the daily newspaper The Citizen, plus numerous local newspapers as well as magazines and a massive printing section that not only produces the Group’s own publications but others as well.
         But even though he has this huge media business he apparently never gives interviews.
       The nearest I could get to The Invisible Man was to send an email to him via his PA. I asked why it was that the The Citizen continued to carry ads that even its editor agreed were not believable. I referred him to my post about this and pointed out that his Group’s Code of Ethics stated that the Group acts in an open and honest way in all its dealings and was socially responsible.
         The Code stipulated that all the managers and directors have a responsibility to ensure that this Code is adhered to at all times. I added that as his Group was a member of the PDMSA this also set certain standards of integrity.
         I told him that I did not believe that what The Citizen was doing complied with the PDMSA’s principles or his Group’s own Code of Ethics.
         In keeping with his Invisible Man reputation I got no reply from Moolman but his PA told me my email was passed to Paul Jenkins, who is described as the Group Chairman and Chairman of the Social and Ethics Committee.
         I gave it to him and he was going to respond, she told me. That was on 20 May 2014.
         After that I sent two more emails trying to get a reply. In my last one addressed to Jenkins and dated 26 May I asked, Can I now assume that you will not be commenting on my email?  And that you have nothing to say about The Citizen’s dubious advertising even though you appear to be in charge of ethics for the Caxton Group?
         A week has now elapsed since this email and it doesn’t look as though I will ever get a reply.

Caxton's Advertising Committee
         Could it be that there is more than one Invisible Man in the top echelons of the Caxton Group when it comes to the ethics of whether or not to continue making money out of advertising fiction in a newspaper?
         Yours sincerely,
         Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman and Consumer Watch Dog who can’t necessarily win them all, but he can certainly spotlight the things that are very wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment