Wicked Campers van depicting gun violence deemed ‘threatening’ by ASA

Stuff co.nz 14 November 2017
Family First Comment: This is the joke that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is. They make rulings which are ignored by advertisers – like Wicked Campers. What’s the point of complaining? Time to change the system.

Wicked Campers, known for controversial slogans plastered across its vehicles, has been called out again.

A complaint concerning a van showing a cartoon of two people with hooded faces pointing guns at each other with the tagline “Chill or be Chilled” has been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The complainant said the advertisement depicted gun violence and suggested violence as a solution “if someone wasn’t chilled out”.

The complaints board said the combination of the tagline and the image made a “strong inference” it was implying a play on the words ‘kill or be killed’.

“Taking into account the wide range of people who could potentially view the advertisement, it had not been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society and was likely to cause serious or widespread offence,” the board said.

The van in question was parked on the Department of Conservation car park at Purakanui Falls in the Catlins, Otago, on the afternoon of September 23.

Despite numerous warnings from the ASA, Wicked Campers has repeatedly failed to make contact.

The complaints board said without any explanation, or substantiation, from the company, it was not possible to suggest any mitigation or alternative intentions behind the advertisement.

The board was disappointed with the lack of communication, and it again expressed its concern at Wicked Camper’s repeated refusal to respond to complaints, and the company’s refusal to respect the principles of self-regulation.

In April, it was reported at least nine complaints about Wicked Campers had been received by the ASA in the past 12 months, most of which have been upheld, with orders for the slogans to be removed.

John Webb, who founded Wicked Campers in Brisbane, has been approached for comment.

Last year, three of Wicked Campers’ most offensive vehicles were banned from New Zealand’s roads, following a landmark ruling from the Classification Office.

It meant that the vans were banned from public places in New Zealand and Wicked could face a fine of up to $200,000 per offence if it continued to use them.

DOC has removed Wicked Campers from a list of rental companies on its website where tourists can buy a campsite pass.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/98878302/Wicked-Campers-van-depicting-gun-violence-deemed-threatening-by-ASA
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