Santa billboard sparks outrage

Bay of Plenty Times 25 Dec 2011
A Tui “yeah right” billboard accused of taking away the innocence of Christmas is causing controversy in Bayfair. The billboard, at Owens Place near Bayfair, reads “Santa only comes once a year. Yeah right”. It has offended Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First New Zealand, who has slammed it as “tacky” and “adult humour”. It is not the first time Tui has caused offence with its Christmas themed billboards. In 2008, DB Breweries pulled down a billboard near the Bayfair roundabout after public pressure. The billboard, which said “This Christmas take a moment to think about Christ. Yeah right”, sparked complaints it was disgusting and in poor taste.

Mr McCoskrie said the latest billboard showed a lack of Christmas cheer from Tui and would prompt questions from innocent children. The sexual innuendo of the billboard was “adult humour which parents would prefer not to have to explain to children who ask”, he said. “The ‘Yeah right’ billboards are well known for making people smile. We’d just ask that they do it without embarrassing parents with awkward questions from kids. Keep adult humour to an adult audience – although many adults would be offended by the sign as well. “We’d encourage families to show their disapproval by boycotting the company products.”