The ABC News published an article on Wednesday titled “Law firm under fire after posting drink driving memes on Facebook” which claimed that our firm had been criticised over memes posted on our Sydney Drink Driving Lawyers Facebook Page.
The first sentence of that article reads:
“A law firm that posted several jokes about drink driving on Facebook has been advised by the New South Wales Attorney-General’s office to change its advertising strategy.”
There’s just one problem – the claim is completely untrue. No-one other than the ABC, not the Attorney-General’s office or anyone else, has contacted us at any time with any concerns whatsoever about our page, our “advertising strategy” or anything else to do with the page. The claim is entirely false.
But it doesn’t stop there. The assertion that our page contains “several jokes about drink driving” is equally untrue, as was made abundantly clear to the ABC by its own followers on Facebook who saw through the article’s sensationalist title and misleading contents, making assessments for themselves.
Sensationalism at the expense of the truth
The article features a meme (above) which depicts a handicapped parking space and reads “Every 48 seconds, a drunk driver makes another person eligible to park here”.
The author of the ABC article somehow infers that the meme is some sort of a “joke” about drink driving.
As pointed out to the ABC by its own followers, nothing can be further from the truth – the meme clearly conveys that drink driving frequently leads to serious injury.
Here are some of the comments about the meme and our page, posted on the ABC’s Facebook Page:
Mark Graham They should be congratulated It will make people think hopefully of the consequences for their stupidity.
Max Tivey Nothing wrong with it. AG is out of line.
Linda Shaw I think the add displayed is brilliant this is me I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 19, 45 years ago and now need this parking. So many adds are only about dying not the lifelong effects of injuries caused
Rhys Halliwell Looks more like a PSA [public service announcement] than a joke.
Clare Irene Nothing else seems to get through to the drunken morons, maybe this might make them think what harm their selfish actions could cause to innocent people.
Din Ohtar … I’m fine with a company spending their own money to remind the community that someone is badly hurt every 48 seconds due to drink driving.
Tommy Lu I don’t think it’s a joke. It’s reminder that drink driving is more than potentially losing your license.
Vic LG I REALLY like this. Great way to remind people of FACTS!! I don’t understand why people would get upset about it?
Ginger Rogers I don’t see that as a joke. It looks like a thoughtful message actually.
Roger Clark I dont think thats a joke. In fact, I think its a very powerful message and there should be more of them
Mark Linn If it saves even one person what is wrong with it??
Karyn Payne I don’t see this as inappropriate. It’s true! No different to Qld’s ‘Drowsy Drivers Die’.
Geoff Moore How is that a joke?, it is a serious statement!
Leonie Mitchell Evans How is this a bad idea? It makes people think, and I think that’s a good thing. Need them outside pubs….. and it means at least there’s wheelchair parking
Lih Chong I see nothing wrong with the image.
Brian Lineker Tell it like it is
Julie Clarke I think that is a hard hitting reminder
Elizabeth Christian Oh dear, here we go again. Shooting the messenger.
Nila Wajntraub Hey hey now – you can’t go bringing up factual information about the horrendous effects of alcohol on society…
Sean Normoyle I thought it was a pretty decent awareness raising strategy.
The followers of our own page expressed similar views, taking aim at the ABC and its article:
Hayder Shkara Disgusting journalism pretending to get two sides of the story. The memes put up on the page are in no way making light of the seriousness of drink driving. The articles on the page are informative and help drivers make the right choices by keeping them up to date with the ever changing driving laws. Keep up the good work Sydney Criminal Lawyers®! Shame on ABC and Pauline Wright from the The Law Society of NSW for making comments that are completely unfounded. We all expect better.
Gail Sparrow Good to see something of this calibre written in plain sight, hopefully it may may make people think twice re their actions. No-one in their right mind should believe anything that comes from mainstream media these day’s. They think it’s fun to stir up controversy with topics they believe the public will argue over, this one has backfired on them.
Paul Dawson More Fake News by the ABC…….
Donna Lastica Gone are the days when were responsible journalism was evident. That is media for you.
Michel Wright Journalist integrity is becoming a conflict in terms.
Alex Taylor What do you expect from the ABC?
Kurt Sedlmaier Fake News.
Michel Wright Journalist integrity is becoming a conflict in terms.
Jack Wheldon Who other then bitter old people watch ABC anyway?
Paul Baker Welcome to the Murdoch run sensationalist ABC
Roberto Pajuelo Dodds Whoever wrote the article deserves a bottle of nice scotch for the free advertising. Nine out of ten comments on the [ABC’s] fb post are with SCL and Mr. Nedim
James Gàrlánd It must be a slow news day over at abc
‘News’ and context
It is interesting that the author of the ABC article presents his report as ‘news’.
The featured meme was published more than 2 years ago – but hey, it’s never too late to publish a sensationalised article.
The author also ‘overlooks’ images on the page which advise drivers about standard drinks, and a meme depicting a driver blowing into a breathalyser which reads, “The only exam where you need to get 0”.
He also chooses to ignore the many articles which warn of the dangers of drink driving and provide news and information to the public about ever-changing traffic laws, helping drivers to make informed decisions.
He contacted our firm via email for comment about the memes, then carefully selected parts of our response to include in his article, in an attempt to further his agenda. He certainly did not ask whether anyone had contacted us with concerns about the page which, again, they did not and still have not.
It can be inferred from his article that he contacted the Attorney-General’s office and Law Society of NSW, but we are not privy to the questions he asked, the way he presented information, or the accuracy or context of their reported responses.
Don’t let the truth get in the way…
Those are the facts. But it seems the ABC are happy not to let the truth get in the way of a good story.
We agree with Nick Warne who made the following comment about a previous post we wrote about the ABC article, “ABC raise your game. This article makes you sound like idiots”.
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