Complaint: 15/122

Wicked Campers Vehicle

Details

Complainants
D. Ferguson
advertisers
Wicked Campers
Year
2015
Media
Out of Home
Product
Vehicles / Transportation
Clauses
Decision
Upheld / Settled
ASA Links
Website Listing
Decision Document

Document

COMPLAINT NUMBER
15/122
COMPLAINANT
D. Ferguson
ADVERTISER
Wicked Campers
ADVERTISEMENT
Wicked Campers Vehicle
DATE OF MEETING
14 April 2015
OUTCOME
Upheld



SUMMARY

The Wicked Camper rental vehicle included a quote on the side of the rental van which included a picture of Popeye the Sailor Man and cartoon breasts. The advertisement said, in part:

"#1 WANKING CHAMPION. wickedcampers.com... Anything is a dildo if you're game enough."

The Complainant said the quote on the rear of the rental vehicle was offensive and inappropriate and could be seen by children.

The Complaints Board was disappointed that this particular Advertiser had a policy of not responding to complaints (14/097, 14/092; 14/404; 14/544; 15/042; 15/043; 15/085). It also expressed its concern at the Advertiser's refusal to engage with, and respect, the principles of self-regulation.

The Complaints Board said the quote on the rear of the vehicle was deliberately provocative and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and the Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaint.

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Please note this headnote does not form part of the Decision.



COMPLAINTS BOARD DECISION

The Chairman directed the Complaints Board to consider the advertisement with reference to Basic Principle 4 and Rules 4 and 5 of the Code of Ethics. This required the Complaints Board to consider whether the advertisement contained anything which clearly offended against generally prevailing community standards taking into account the context, medium, audience and product (including services) and contained anything that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence to most people. The Complaints Board was also required to consider whether the advertisement had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.

The Complaints Board noted the concerns of the Complainant that the quote on the rear of the rental vehicle was offensive and inappropriate and could be seen by children.

As a preliminary matter, the Complaints Board noted numerous attempts by the Secretariat to contact the Advertiser for a response to the complaint; however, no response had been received by the deadline given. The Complaints Board was disappointed that this particular Advertiser continuously not responded to complaints (14/097, 14/092; 14/404; 14/544; 15/020; 15/042; 15/043; 15/085). It also expressed its concern at the Advertiser's repeated refusal to engage with, and respect, the principles of self-regulation.

The Complaints Board then turned to a photograph of the vehicle which included the Wicked Camper's website, an image of the children's cartoon character Popeye, and a quote which said "#1 WANKING CHAMPION... anything is a dildo if you're game enough."

The Complaints Board was of the view the advertisement, which did not contain any expletives and was on the rear door of the van, had high visibility and mobility. The Complaints Board took into account the quote on the van and the wide range of people that could potentially view the advertisement (including those under 18 years of age). The Complaints Board said the quote on the rear door, was deliberately provocative and offensive and due to its medium, was widely accessible by a varied audience.

The Complaints Board said while the quotes may appeal to the Advertiser's target market, it clearly offended against generally prevailing community standards and was likely to cause serious and widespread offence to most people. The Complaints Board also said the advertisement had not been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society and ruled the advertisement was in breach of Basic Principle 4 and Rules 4 and 5 of the Code of Ethics.

Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaint.



DESCRIPTION OF ADVERTISEMENT

The Wicked Camper rental vehicle included a quote on the side and back of the rental van which included a picture of Popeye the Sailor Man and cartoon breasts. The advertisement said, in part:

"#1 WANKING CHAMPION. wickedcampers.com... Anything is a dildo if you're game enough."

COMPLAINT FROM D. FERGUSON

I find the wording on both the front and side of the van and the cartoon image of naked breasts on the side of the van offensive and inappropriate.

The van was parked in Weld Street, Hokitika on Friday 20 March for several hours. This van either parked up or on the open road is visible to all other road users, including those under 18. I would not feel comfortable explaining the wording and the images to younger children particularly.

The wording and image are not connected with promoting the product use - perhaps in light of current headlines a safe driving message would be more applicable.


CODE OF ETHICS

Basic Principle 4: All advertisements should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.

Rule 4: Decency - Advertisements should not contain anything which clearly offends against generally prevailing community standards taking into account the context, medium, audience and product (including services).

Rule 5: Offensiveness - Advertisements should not contain anything which in the light of generally prevailing community standards is likely to cause serious or widespread offence taking into account the context, medium, audience and product (including services).


RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISER, WICKED CAMPERS

No Response received from the Advertiser.