25 Sep 2010

Email marketing prompts bribery complaint

9:59 pm on 25 September 2010

A group contesting the Auckland super city election has rejected an allegation of bribery made by a rival group, branding the claim as a smear campaign.

The centre-right Citizens and Ratepayers group has formally complained about an email campaign by Shore Voice, saying a link to a $15,000 prize draw is a potential breach of laws that ban the offer of incentives to vote.

Auckland's returning officer has passed the complaint to the police.

The leader of Shore Voice, Chris Darby, says the marketing company it used added its own link to the email, which allowed people to qualify for a prize draw, but this was not part of Shore Voice's message.

He says the survey he approved did not include any financial inducement and he has had legal advice that the group has broken no law.

Mr Darby says he plans to contact the police himself and clear up the matter.

The marketing firm involved, Q New Zealand, says the prize draw link is added to all its emails, and it believes similar material has been used in previous election campaigns.