Wicked Campers Vehicle
COMPLAINT NUMBER 16/134
COMPLAINANT L. Denton and A. Soutar ADVERTISER Wicked Campers ADVERTISEMENT Wicked Campers Vehicle DATE OF MEETING 10 May 2016
The two Wicked Camper rental vehicles complained about had the statements: "It's better
2 be black than gay coz u don't have 2 tell your parents" and "Ladies if you want a man to leave you alone at a bar tell him you have a penis" painted on the back of them.
The Complainants said the advertisements were offensive and could be seen by children. The Complaints Board said the quotes were likely to cause serious and widespread offence
to most people and the advertisement had not been prepared with a due sense of social
responsibility to consumers and society. Therefore the advertisement was in breach of the
Code of Ethics.
The Complaints Board ruled the complaint was Upheld.
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Please note this headnote does not form part of the Decision.
COMPLAINTS BOARD DECISION
The Chair directed the Complaints Board to consider the advertisements 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 that were likely to cause serious or widespread offence to most people, taking into account generally prevailing community standards. The Complaints Board also considered whether the advertisements had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.
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 failed to respond to numerous complaints including 14/097, 15/122;
15/156 and; 15/167. It also expressed its concern at the Advertiser's repeated refusal to
engage with, and respect, the principles of self-regulation.
The Complainants said the advertisements were offensive and could be seen by children. The Complaints Board said the quotes were deliberately provocative and offensive due to
the medium and were widely accessible by a varied audience. Taking into account the wide range of people that could potentially view the advertisements, the Complaints Board said they were likely to cause serious or widespread offence to most people and had not been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.
Therefore, the Complaints Board ruled the advertisements were in breach of Basic Principle
4 and Rules 4 and 5 of the Code of Ethics
Accordingly, the Complaints Board ruled to Uphold the complaints.
DESCRIPTION OF ADVERTISEMENT
The Wicked Camper rental vehicle included the statement: "It's better 2 be black than gay coz u don't have 2 tell your parents."
COMPLAINT FROM L. DENTON
I am so upset about the slogans on some of these vehicles. They truly disgust me and it disturbs me that children are reading them thinking that it is normal to think and talk this way. Is this really the direction we want Aotearoa to take? Is this really what we want tourists to think Kiwis are like and how we behave? I am truly horrified and I can't believe it hasn't been stopped before. Please do something, this is NOT OK!
COMPLAINT FROM A. SOUTAR
Almost all of the writing on the back of their vans that I have seen in newspaper reporting has been extremely offensive to women [mostly sexually], to all humans and most importantly one would not want children [and to a large extent other tourists!] to be reading or viewing the images and text.
As one is driving along the road or parked near them one would not have a choice but to notice them. So I would see them as the equivalent of a billboard. This level of tastelessness, demeaning attitude and outright attention seeking is beyond normal levels of decency and even Tui and Hell Pizzas have not gone this far. There is nothing that would rescue this form of advertising, such as political comment or humour with some level of intelligence. I felt quite sick reading them and I would normally turn a blind eye at extreme forms of language if it had some purpose behind it.
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 from the Advertiser