Many families have been offended by the offensive signwriting on Wicked Campers that travel around NZ.
Last year, Lonely Planet dropped Wicked Campers from its Australian and New Zealand guidebooks following a 120,000-strong petition against the company’s slogans. That protest led to the removal of some slogans. Good!
The Advertising Standards Authority has made numerous rulings against Wicked Campers, and has expressed disappointment at its refusal to respect the principles of self-regulation. Slogans such as “Fat chicks are harder to kidnap” have incurred the wrath of the Women’s Refuge NZ. And this month, a slogan proclaiming, “My boss told me I was a w***er, I was so surprised I almost let go of his c***”, prompted a Whangarei resident to complain to local MP Shane Reti. Other slogans have included “If you love me you would swallow it”, “Your thighs won’t touch if my head’s between them” and “a wife: an attachment you screw on the bed to get the housework done“. In December 2014, Police expressed concerns about a Wicked rental van that depicts Snow White smoking a crack pipe and tells people to “enjoy” the class A drug.
Our understanding is that between 2010 and 2015, Wicked Campers has had 13 complaints upheld against it by the ASA, but Wicked Campers simply ignores them! The Australian Senate in 2014 passed a Green party motion condemning the “sexist, misogynist and racist slogans” that Wicked campers have on their hire vans.
Others have expressed concern:
“I am a little girl and I am not a slut”: Anti Wicked Camper campaign takes off – Collective Shout
Why women should boycott Wicked Campervans – (we think men should too!)
Slogans on hire van ‘offensive’ – Southland Times
MP Dr Reti complained to the Whangarei City Council, and says its threat of legal action alleging a breach of its signage bylaws is an important development – and he wants other councils to take note. The council emailed Wicked Campers after getting legal advice that it could seek a court injunction or prosecute for a bylaw breach, which carries a maximum penalty of $20,000. Its email said: “You may like to consider what actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of council taking action. Separate to the above, it could include asking your clients to tape over certain words. This may result in your clients being woken during the night if the matter comes to our attention.”
If you see a Wicked Campervan with an offensive slogan on it, take a photo and then email us the photo and location. Together we’ll formulate a complaint to the local Council.
Also email your complaint to the Associate Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett paula.be[email protected]
For example –
s4 Signage Bylaw – Whangarei District Council
Offensive and discriminatory signs
No person shall:
a. Erect or display any sign that explicitly or implicitly:
i. Is discriminatory or advocates discrimination;
ii. Is objectionable, offensive, threatening or insulting; or
iii. Incites or counsels any person(s) to commit any offence.
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.
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.
Wicked campers get away with offensive messages
Shelley Bridgeman – NZ Herald 9 March 2016
……Thankfully, the Whangarei District Council seems poised to become the hero of the piece and potentially save us all from this visual pollution. As well as threatening to demand that Wicked Campers clients cover up the offending words, this council is also threatening legal action for an alleged breach of signage bylaws. Perhaps the prospect of a $20,000 fine might encourage the bosses of this organisation to rethink their vehicle signage. Nothing else seems to have dented the company’s commitment to its crass and offensive marketing strategy.
EXAMPLES further below
(Warning: Some of this content is highly offensive. Viewer discretion advised)