ANC caught out by e-toll billboards?

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IOL pic br oct8 DA etoll billboard full display Independent Newspapers The DA's controversial e-tolling billboards, like this one on the N1 highway in Midrand, have raised the ire of the ANC. Photo: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - The satirical “proudly ANC” billboards on the proposed e-toll route do not appear to break any law, analysts say.

The DA, which placed the boards, appears to have stolen an election march on the ANC by raising billboards along the Gauteng routes where e-tolls are now expected to kick in by the end of November.

Law firm Adams & Adams and marketing analyst Chris Moerdyk said the signs did not appear to break the law.

The billboards, proclaiming “E-tolls, Proudly brought to you by the ANC”, clearly caught the ANC with its marketing pants down because a blizzard of calls to the party’s spokespeople elicited no response or return calls yesterday.

The DA, which outed itself as being behind the billboards and which reported that the campaign had been thought up by its marketing department, said it was difficult to see why the ANC was so upset about the boards erected next to e-tolling gantries.

Mmusi Maimane, the DA premier candidate for Gauteng in the provincial election next year, declared the message as being 100 percent accurate.

“E-tolls were conceived under the watch of an ANC minister, supported by an ANC executive in Gauteng, passed into law by an ANC majority Parliament, and signed, sealed and delivered by an ANC president.

“So what’s the ANC’s problem with the billboard? Is the ANC ashamed of e-tolls all of a sudden?” Maimane asked.

Adams & Adams senior associate of trade mark litigation Alicia Louw said after recovering from her initial amusement, she wondered whether there was any action that the ANC could take to have the billboards removed.

She wondered whether the signs violated any of the laws and regulations enforced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The advertisement was unlikely to be regarded as ordinary infringement of the ANC trademark, which would require that motorists be confused into thinking that the advertiser was the ANC.

It appeared that no one believed that the billboard emanated from, or was endorsed by, the ANC, she noted. - Business Report

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