New Zealand Armenians Condemn Wellington Billboards Promoting Propaganda of Azerbaijan Dictatorship

By ANC AU | Tuesday, 03 November 2020

WELLINGTON:   The Armenian National Committee of New Zealand (ANC-NZ) has strongly condemned the commission and installation of two billboards in capital city Wellington, which feature the revisionist rhetoric of the Azerbaijani dictatorship, who are waging an attempt to invade Nagorno Karabakh (Republic of Artsakh) whilst openly threatening its indigenous Armenians with ethnic cleansing.

Advertising agency Media5 has allowed the commission of the anti-Armenian billboards on 74-76 Cuba Street Wellington and 191-201 Thorndon Quay Wellington.

The world was alerted to Azerbaijan’s commencement of an all-out military aggression against Artsakh and Armenia on 27th September 2020, supported by Turkey with combat drones, F-16 jets as well as over a thousand Al Quaeda and ISIS associated Islamist Jihadists mercenaries from Syria.

Given this military aggression and the facilitation of known terrorists, the two advertising billboards include what the ANC-NZ identifies as “offensive, misleading and incorrect statements against Armenia and Armenians, which adds further to the pain and agony Armenians in New Zealand feel at the loss of their relatives and loved ones in Armenia”.

The capital of the Republic of Artsakh and its villages are being shelled daily by Azerbaijan with the use of illegal cluster munitions killing and wounding many innocent civilians.

The events occurring in Artsakh/Nagorno Karabakh are being categorised as ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Armenian people of Artsakh.  On 25 October 2020, Genocide Watch issued Genocide Emergency Alert due to Azerbaijan’s aggression against the Armenian Republic of Artsakh (please refer to this link for further information).

“Media5 pinning this billboard is disturbing and deliberately aids an oil-rich foreign dictatorial power to spread misinformation and anti-Armenian propaganda in New Zealand’s capital city,” said ANC-NZ Chair, Hoory Yeldizian. “It is unacceptable.”

"We call upon Media5 to reject being a tool of any dictatorship that has openly avowed to ethnically cleanse the indigenous Armenian population of Artakh by disseminating its vile propaganda justifying such crimes against humanity to the Wellington public," Yeldizian added.

TVNZ covered the story in their nightly news bulletin on Thursday.

ANC-NZ said they believed Media5 “is a clear breach of rule 2(b) of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Code, which states that advertisements must not mislead or be likely to mislead, deceive or confuse consumers, abuse their trust or exploit their lack of knowledge. This includes by implication, inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, unrealistic claim, omission, false representation, or otherwise”.

ANC-NZ and grassroots community members have called on Media5 to “take down the billboard immediately, cease engagement with these types of commissions in the future, and issue an apology to the Armenian community of New Zealand”.