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Wicked Campers may face police action over 'offensive' slogans


Jul 21, 2005
Wicked Campers may face police action over 'offensive' slogans



CONTROVERSIAL van hire company Wicked Campers could face police action to remove "offensive" slogans on its vehicles after ignoring rulings by the national advertising watchdog.

The Advertising Standards Bureau is seeking police assistance in forcing the Brisbane-based company, which has 34 locations around Australia and overseas,

to remove the slogans it has deemed obscene, discriminatory and derogatory in decisions dating back to 2008.

It is also pursuing the company over an internet promotion offering discounts to customers who identify as marijuana smokers.

ASB CEO Fiona Jolly said Wicked Campers, whose controversial graffitti-style painted vans have been the subject of 39 advertising complaints since 2008,

was Australia's biggest serial offender when it came to ignoring the watchdog's rulings.

Ms Jolly said the company was refusing to comply with ASB decisions to remove three slogans with obscene language.

She said the company was also ignoring rulings to paint over another offensive slogan and to remove a Facebook post that were deemed degrading to women.

Wicked Campers has also so far ignored an ASB ruling to discontinue its online "Do You Smoke Weed?'' promotion, which offers discounts to customers who identify as "massive pot heads''.

Ms Jolly said she had this week written to Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey to seek police and government assistance in having the vans painted over.

"Wicked Campers are our one and only problem advertiser in terms of compliance,'' she said.

"Ninety-eight per cent of advertisers will withdraw their ad immediately after a board decision,

in other cases if an ad is on TV or on a billboard or on radio we have an arrangement so the actual media company or network will withdraw the ad.

"But Wicked are in the very small category of an advertiser who a) doesn't want to comply and b) their marketing is their own van, so there's no broadcaster or publisher that can help.''

A spokesperson for Minister Dempsey declined to comment on the issue.

A Queensland Police spokesperson said the van slogans might constitute a public nuisance offence under state laws, and it would consider any complaint made "on its merits''.

Wicked Campers spokesperson Ross Dudgeon, who gave his official title as "junior executive vice president of awesomeness'', declined to comment.

In the last five years the ASB has successfully requested the removal of 13 offensive slogans from the Wicked Campers fleet.



How is "Legalize It" obscene, discriminatory or derogatory in any way?
in america its cool for fundamentalist religious organisations to picket dead soldiers funeral's and rally with signs saying "GOD HATES FAGS" and "THANK GOD FOR CANCER" etc etc

but having natural plants on the side of a van or the word 'cock' in a pretty inert context in australia is 'obscene'?

ASB could ban thousands of other things we are exposed to, i suppose wicked campers is a nice easy target to attack compared to evil marketing corporations
I mostly find the Wicked vans to be mildly amusing catering to the most base elements of humour. I can see you some people would find them offensive especially considering they are not very intelligent or witty but at the crass end of the spectrum.
How is "Legalize It" obscene, discriminatory or derogatory in any way?

that one wasn't actually in the article, i added it. But a couple of these you might think fit that bill...? I generally find them funny and I like graff, i see these campers around a fair bit and I take some pics of them sometimes, some of the tourists in them are pretty cool, i've had some convos and asked if they mind if i take a few pics...I usually see them parked in the beach car parks.








Some of those arent offensive, but yeah some might be to some people I guess.
^ To be honest in terms of offensive language I have always felt Australia was a lot more liberal than America, I could be wrong though. It always tripped me out how you can't even say words like piss or dick or barely offensive words like that on tv over there but in Australia you can say anything you want on any channel if it is past like 8.30pm. Seriously some words your shows censor could practically be said on kids shows here.

Some of the slogans on those vans I can see why certain people take as offensive, I mean personally I think it is obviously a joke and people shouldn't be so sensitive but it isn't exactly surprising that a few of them are causing a bit of controversy.
I nearly fell of the chair laughing at Jim's Muff Management. (Not sure if Jim's is a global brand, but in case it isn't, it is a parody of "Jim's lawn mowing" vans.)

The fear and loathing one is pretty neat too.