19.7 C
Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Council ‘powerless to act’ on offensive slogans

Latest News

Lismore Councillor candidate bios – Group A: Labor

The Echo asked all the Lismore election Councillor candidates to send in a bio. First cab off the rank was current Councillor Darlene Cook and Group A.

Other News

F***ked

Simon Kofe, foreign minister for the small Pacific nation of Tuvalu, brought a slice of reality to the COP26...

When we get to 95 per cent vaccination, this will happen

Just when we were getting used to the current COVID roadmap, it has changed directions. Adjustments to previous settings scheduled for this milestone were announced yetserday.

Inspiration

I’m reading a densely written, absolutely beautiful book – Overstory by Richard Powers – an important, environmentally sensitive novel...

IP dispute over aquaponics invention

Two organic farmers from Nimbin, Andrew Bodlovich and Hogan Gleeson, invented a sustainable food production system that they hoped would help feed the world. Now they say they risk losing 20 years of work owing to a legal battle with ‘big business interests’ that backed the technology.

Vale Mullumbimbian, Noel Ernest James

A Mullumbimbian through and through, Noel James was born in Mullum on April 3, 1928, in what seems to be a world away from today, but in his words, ‘it was only 93 short years ago’. 

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Coming out of the Cave

It was 2018, and in this crisis we witnessed the best that the world can be. We all watched in nervous anticipation as cave diving hobbyists from around the world became experts in a rescue never before attempted. It showed the power of collaboration for a higher purpose. It showed true courage; of the men who risked their lives in the complex underground maze of caves, of the boys who maintained the most incredible calm, and of the parents who never gave up hope.

An offensive Wicked Campers slogan being painted over. In 2014 the company's boss approved the strategy but subsequently did an about-face and now says he will sue them. Photo Instagram
An offensive Wicked Campers slogan being painted over. In 2014 the company’s boss approved the strategy but subsequently did an about-face and now says he will sue people who do so. Photo Instagram

Chris Dobney

Byron Shire Council says taking action on offensive slogans, such as the ones on Wicked camper vans that have recently drawn public ire, is the role of police.

Last week Byron shire grandfather Paul McCarthy told media he had a ‘brain snap’ when he saw the slogan ‘A blow job a day beats an apple’ on the back of a Wicked Camper vehicle recently and spray-painted over the offending word.

The exact same slogan was the subject of an advertising standards complaint in 2014 and the company was then slammed by the advertising watchdog its sexually explicit slogans.

The Advertising Standards Bureau then ruled that ‘that the inclusion of this slogan on a van had no relevance to the nature of the business which is to hire vans for travel and that in this way, the slogan is completely out of context and is sexually explicit.’

The publication Ad News said in an article in 2014 that the company was ‘a regular on the ASB complaint circuit’ adding, ‘it’s not the first time the company has turned it’s nose up at responding to case determinations.

Wicked campers have ignored petitions, Advertising Standards Bureau and a senate request that it remove its offensive slogans.
Wicked campers have ignored petitions, Advertising Standards Bureau and a senate request that it remove its offensive slogans.

Senate motion ignored

In 2014 the Senate passed a motion calling upon the company to paint over its misogynist, racist and homophobic slogans within six months, which management agreed to but never did.

Since painting over the slogan when it reappeared in Byron Bay last week, Mr McCarthy said he feared the owners of the rent-a-van business would take him to court.

In 2014 Wicked Campers chief executive John Webb told customers ‘if it offends you, paint it out,’ apparently giving them permission to paint over the offensive graffiti on his vans.

But in April last year, after ignoring the Advertising Standards Bureau and the Senate, he did an about face, telling the website SmartCompany, ‘Wicked Campers will no longer permit individuals or groups, to in any way manipulate the artwork or general appearance of its vehicles or property.’

Mr McCarthy has subsequently called on Byron Shire Council to ban the vans, saying he would appeal to councillors on the issue at their meeting on Thursday (April 7).

But the matter is not on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting and according to Wayne Bertram, manager of BSC’s regulatory services, it is not an issue council can act upon.

Mr Bertram said, however, that police could take action under the Summary Offences Act.

He said the council would discuss the issue with local police and write to the Brisbane-based owners of Wicked Campers outlining community concerns.

‘The council does get a little bit frustrated with some people’s attitude towards what they think is acceptable behavior,’ he told ABC radio this morning, adding that council would ‘try and work with everyone to try and resolve the matters.’

‘Some people have also taken the matter into their own hands to “tidy up” some of the vans themselves,’ he said.

New penalties for offensive slogans, images

Sexist and offensive slogans on vehicles, such as Wicked Campers, have now been outlawed after the Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was adopted by parliament on October 21. Local MP Tamara Smith (Greens) said it was a ‘great win’,...

6

Wicked Campers forced to clean up their vans

The Queensland government has taken aim at companies that hire out campervans emblazoned with offensive slogans, which are often seen around Byron Bay and Ballina.

7

Camper slogans incite hatred of women: MP

Byron and Ballina shire councils are set to tell the federal and state governments they’ve had enough of the vile slogans spray-painted on Wicked Campers.

6

Council ‘powerless to act’ on offensive slogans

Byron Shire Council says taking action on offensive slogans, such as the ones on Wicked camper vans that recently have drawn public ire, is the role of police.

2

Thousands rail against van company’s obscene slogans

Thousands of people have joined a group calling for the boycott of Wicked Campers after a Byron Bay man was threatened with prosecution because he sprayed over an obscene slogan on the back of one of the company's vehicles.

20


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am deeply offended and shocked by these slogans they are sexist, mysoginist slurs..nothing intelligent..a law needs to be passed to stop this from continuing..they are the same as advertising vans driving around advertising movies or events…if they were offensive something would be done about it…these wicked campers are indeed wicked!

  2. Maybe if customers were to say to Wicked camper agents that they won’t hire a van with objectionable slogans, this would all stop! Wouldn’t that be nice!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Gladys just doesn’t get it? Bullshit.

The rules are lost to the dark art of time, but when I was younger, we used to play a card game called ‘Bullshit’...

Flood warning for Richmond and Wilsons Rivers

A deepening low pressure trough through the northeast of the state is expected to bring rain and thunderstorms during Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the State Emergency Service.

Storms and rain for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Northern Rivers

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting widespread thunderstorms and rain for the Northern Rivers.

Byron candidates 2021 Q&A part 2

Buckle in, seats upright, and loosen the belt!  It’s time to see what candidates have to say – in full – about our collective issues...