Offensive Billboard Should Be Pre-Vetted

Media Release 6 March 2014
Family First NZ says that a three-storey-high mural of a naked woman on the side of Christchurch’s central city strip club, Calendar Girls, should be pre-approved rather than waiting for it to cause offence to the community.

“It is unacceptable that a potentially offensive mural can be painted, cause offence, and no action can be taken until after the fact,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“If the image isn’t offensive, the artist should have no problem providing proof of that.”

“Unfortunately the advertising industry cannot be relied upon to self-regulate, and the Advertising Standards Authority reviews objectionable adverts so long after the ad have been displayed that the damage is already done.”

“It’s easy to change the television channel, but it’s not so easy to turn off a billboard.”

An independent survey of 1,000 NZ’ers found that 72% of respondents supporting large public billboards being G-rated suitable for children to view. Strongest support came from women.

“It is vital that families continue to speak up rather than accept the sexualisation of girls and women in the media and on billboards. Local communities have an important role of protecting children from offensive advertising and the pornification of our culture.”

Family First NZ is calling for the government to review and tighten codes around television advertising, billboards and outdoor advertising, including pre-vetting of billboards. Legislation must be enacted to regulate outdoor and shop front advertising to prevent the display of material that is sexually explicit, offensive and/or inappropriate for children.
ENDS