NATIVE AFFAIRS: Non-actors? Don't bank on it - Māori actor

By Aroha Awarau

A Māori performer who appears in a Kiwibank advertisement which claims no actors were used for their promotion, warned the agency that he was a professional actor.

The TV and online campaign which has various Kiwibank customers endorsing its services started the ad by claiming they did not use any actors.  Toa Waaka who features in the campaign and has appeared as an actor on Shortland Street and films like King Kong, advised the advertising company that their statement might be inaccurate.

“They told me that I’m not being hired as an actor, but as a member of Kiwibank.”

Waaka heard about the campaign through word of mouth and urged the advertising company to look him up on the internet because he had a “well-known face”. He had hoped the advertising agency showed due diligence by adjusting the sentence in the ad.

Kiwibank communications manager Bruce Thompson says despite Toa’s extensive film and TV resume that he wasn’t hired as an actor but as a customer.

“We don’t want to exclude people because of their occupations. If we had approached Toa through an acting agency, then that would not represent what we are trying to convey, and that is the heartfelt thoughts of our customers.”

Hilary Souter, Chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority says the ad brings up a “very interesting issue.”

“People can complain about ads they find misleading and it will go through our process,” she says.  

The campaign started at the beginning of November and will run until Christmas. 

Watch the advertisement here.