Family First NZ is welcoming comments by National MP Dr Shane Reti in Parliament’s debating chamber yesterday when he lambasted Wicked Campers for their lack of social responsibility and harmful messages on their campervans - messaging which has been labelled in both New Zealand and Australia as sexist, misogynist and racist.
Family First launched a campaign two weeks ago designed to pressure Wicked Campers in to removing offensive advertisements and messages on their vehicles. Families have made complaints to Queenstown and Thames local councils already, with further complaints to come. Family First has also contacted Disney, Coke, and Pepsi regarding images used by Wicked Campers that bring their brands into disrepute.
In Parliament yesterday, Dr Reti received support from all sides of the political divide when he said:
"New Zealanders from all over the country are writing to Associate Minister for Tourism, the Hon Paula Bennett, and to me complaining about the filthy signage on Australian campervan firm Wicked Campers. The Minister and I have spoken and to Wicked Campers I say this: Your offensive signage is unacceptable. Your disgusting degrading of women and children is unacceptable. Your signage is an affront to public decency and no parent including me should have to explain it to their children. High-quality tourism is what this Government and what New Zealanders are investing in. So Wicked Campers-respect New Zealand’s advertising standards or go home, because New Zealanders deserve better than your garbage."
"Many families have been offended by the offensive signs on Wicked Campers that travel around NZ but have felt powerless to stop them. This campaign will focus on complaints being made to the local Council that the signage breaches the signage bylaws in that area," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
"The Advertising Standards Authority has made 13 rulings against Wicked Campers, and has expressed disappointment at its refusal to respect the principles of self-regulation. 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. 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."
"We would argue that any public advertising should be G-rated and suitable for children to view. It is vital that families continue to speak up rather than accept offensive material and the sexualisation of girls and women in the media and on billboards and vehicles. Local communities have an important role of protecting children from offensive advertising and the pornification of our culture," says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First NZ is calling for the government to review and tighten codes around television advertising, billboards and outdoor advertising, including pre-vetting of advertising to ensure it meets appropriate standards.
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