Wicked Campers to be Banned in Queensland
QUEENSLAND is the first state to move on banning Wicked Campers from Queensland roads.
Wicked’s controversial vans are renowned for their offensive, misogynist artwork. They will be forced off Queensland roads under new legislative plans announced on Thursday.
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath hopes the decision to take Wicked Campers off the road will lead to other states and territories following Queensland’s lead.
After longstanding public outrage about the vans, which often bear vile, sexist slogans such as, “Inside every princess there’s a little sl*t that wants to try it just once”, Ms D’Ath announced a new plan to deregister commercial vans bearing slogans that do not comply with the regulations of the Advertising Standards Board.
“I understand clearly the level of community concern about the vulgar, crass and offensive slogans that have been displayed on some commercial vehicles in Queensland and other parts of Australia,” Ms D’Ath said.
“They have been the subject of frequent complaints to the Advertising Standards Board.
“When the ASB has deemed those slogans to be offensive, the typical response from the holders of those commercial vehicle registrations has been deafening silence.
“Now, if they refuse to remove the offensive slogans, their vehicles will be off the road.”
Wicked Campers is yet to comment but has previously publicly mocked complaints about its vans, which are often hired by backpackers to tour the country.
“Wicked Campers would like to address the public concern surrounding its use of controversial artwork on vehicles in Australia and New Zealand,” company spokesman John Webb said in response to criticism in April 2015.
“To meet the commitments made in our prior press release, we employed a team of highly-intelligent, socially-conscious super monkeys to closely monitor the subject matter featured on our vehicles and scream loudly when offended.
“This initiative had been codenamed ‘Moral Monkey Squad’ under a carefully constructed mission statement: ‘Moral Monkey Squad are dedicated to satisfying the whims and wishes of the humour-inept, self-righteous moral majority while wearing little monkey tuxedos and funny hats’.”
Opposition to the offensive vans has been voiced at various times across the country.
In July 2014, Sydney schoolteacher Paula Orbea launched an online petition calling for the vans to be banned, which gathered 110,000 signatures in just four days.
The vans often also have racist slogans.
The vans often also have racist slogans.Source:AFP
Earlier this week, Tasmania’s Break O’Day Council voted against banning the vans from camping grounds in their municipality in response to complaints from residents, with councillors saying the decision on how to regulate the vans was beyond their jurisdiction.
In April 2015, a group called Wicked Pickets staged a public rally in Brisbane calling for the vans to be banned.
“Some people say ‘well the slogans are funny, they are just about backpackers having fun in the sun’,” group spokeswoman Liz Upham told the ABC.
“But when you have slogans suggesting kidnapping women, gaffer-taping women … I think they are actually promoting sexual violence against women and general violence against women.”
Wicked Campers has been censured by the Advertising Standards Bureau in the past, with a 2015 ruling finding that one of its slogans — “Fat girls are harder to kidnap!” — breached the Advertiser Ethics Code.
However, the bureau did not have the powers to order the removal of the offensive slogans.
Ms D’Ath said it was crucial that other states and territories followed Queensland’s lead to prevent deregistered Queensland vehicles being registered in other states.
“Should they attempt to relocate their businesses interstate, I would encourage other jurisdictions to consider similar laws so that these offensive slogans cannot continue to be displayed,” she said.
“This is a solution that imposes minimal additional regulatory burden.”