End Wicked Campers offensive images and slogans now!
Following a number of recent interventions against the controversial Wicked Camper slogans, new momentum is gathering for action in Australia and New Zealand to see the removal or banning of vans with inappropriate images and slogans. We are asking you to sign this new petition now, requesting immediate State and Federal government action.
Wicked Campers, a vehicle rental fleet company, not only operate in Australia and New Zealand, but also internationally. The company uses deliberately provocative quotes and illustrations on their camper vans. Distasteful quotes written across the front, sides and back of their vans allude to promoting drug use, encouraging criminal acts, inciting domestic violence and generally belittling and degrading women. These messages are often insulting and/or degrading to many members of our community.
Last month, in New Zealand, the chief censor from the Classifications Office ruled against objectionable publications which were promoting drug use and sexual violence. The ruling stated that the vans in question depicting cartoon characters: Snow White about to snort cocaine, the Cat in the Hat with drug paraphernalia and Scooby Doo about to smoke marijuana, were not appropriate for children under 16 years old. The result is that these vans are now banned from public places in New Zealand.
Many of the Wicked Camper slogans also deliberately over-sexualise women and promote violence. A picture on the website for example, shows two naked women besides the words “rent me” advertising the company. Slogans that the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) would not allow on billboards or in advertising campaigns often escape sanction due to loop holes in the discrimination act or standards for vehicles in public spaces. Despite all this, we know from research into domestic violence, that disrespectful attitudes towards women increase tolerance for more serious offences and harm.
Given the commitment from the Australian government to do more in this area with the recent publication of the Royal Commission report into family violence, and the appointment of the new prevention of family violence Minister in Victoria, State and Federal governments must take decisive action now.
Both Byron Bay and Ballina Councils in New South Wales have taken moves “to remove or ban the inappropriate messages that are printed on Wicked camper vans.” Byron Bay council has also gone further to table a motion at the Australian Local Government Association conference to be held in Canberra in June.
This motion will ask national delegates to make a stand and call on State and Federal government to take action, similar to what has been done in New Zealand with the Classification Office, against offensive slogans which target, in particular, women or others on the basis of race, religion or sexuality.
Please join us in signing this petition and adding your voice to those who have already advocated in other ways, to eliminate these distasteful slogans. All the signatures collected will be presented with this motion at the national conference in June.
More and more examples of members of the community taking a stand against inappropriate slogans is becoming obvious. The Splendour in the Grass music festival has asked punters to boycott Wicked Campers at this year’s sold-out event at North Byron Parklands in July. Members from the tourism industry in New Zealand are also advocating for a ban on these camper vans with a number of tourist sites banning camper vans with offensive slogans from camping sites. New Zealand based petrol company Z-petrol also told Wicked Campers to advise their customers to steer clear of their petrol stations because of the offensive slogans.
What Wicked campers are doing goes beyond freedom of expression. We do not want to create a ‘nanny state’ in Australia or New Zealand, and we know we all love a good laugh. We do, however, want to ensure that the environment that we cultivate in society is always respectful and positive, for all, not at the expense of any person.
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: Members of the Australian Local Government Association