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An advertisement by Santos depicting a farmer in idyllic countryside advocating the coal seam gas industry was one of the most complained about ads of 2011.
According to the Advertising Standards Bureau the Santos advertisement just made it into the top ten, coming equal tenth with an ad by Optus.
The ASB received 24 complaints over the ad but they were all dismissed.
One of the chief complaints was made in a letter to the ASB from Lock the Gate’s Peter Firminger.
In his letter Firminger said the ad was “totally misleading” and claimed Santos had bought the support of farmers.
But in response to the complaint Santos said the farmer was just “one example of our many strong relationships with landholders” and noted the farmer was not paid to appear in the ad.
Firminger also said the Santos ad gave audiences a distorted view of CSG, which was an “environmentally disastrous industry”.
But the ASB said the ad did not make any environmental claims about CSG and instead “focused on the relationships Santos has with landowners and communities”.
“Finding that the advertisement did not breach the Code on other grounds, the Board dismissed the complaints,” it said.