Wicked Campers: Public Support For G-Rated Billboards

Media Release 21 March 2016
Family First NZ says that there is plenty of public support for the politicians to take direct action against companies such as Wicked Campers and other companies who assault families with their offensive and sexualised images.

“The problem is actually not that hard to solve. Family First is calling for any public billboards and advertising that is in the view of children and families to meet a G-rated classification. We’re calling for the government to review and tighten codes around billboards, outdoor advertising and television advertising, including pre-vetting of billboards and advertising seen by children to prevent the display of material that is sexually explicit, offensive and inappropriate for children and families,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“It’s easy to change the television channel, but it’s not so easy to ‘turn off’ a billboard or a highly offensive Wicked Camper image driving in front of the family car.”

An independent survey of 1,000 NZ’ers in 2013 found that 72% of respondents supporting large public billboards being G-rated suitable for children to view. Strongest support came from women. Only 21% opposed.

“Unfortunately the advertising industry cannot be relied upon to self-regulate, and the Advertising Standards Authority reviews objectionable adverts so long after the advertisements have been displayed that the damage is already done. It is unacceptable that a potentially offensive advertisement or image can be displayed, cause offence, and no action can be taken until after the fact. If the image isn’t offensive, the advertiser should have no problem providing proof of that,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The problem of Wicked Campers is not restricted to just that company. There have been many other examples where families have been offended – including a Lady Gaga ad on a bus, a sexualised Santa billboard, a Wellington brothel sign, an offensive Air New Zealand sign, a church billboard, a recent highly offensive t-shirt display at Canterbury Museum, and a three-storey-high mural of a naked woman on the side of Christchurch’s central city strip club, Calendar Girls.”

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