Wicked Campers slogan ‘It’s better to be black than gay cos you don’t have to tell your parents’ ruled against after years on the road

A van with the slogan ‘It’s better to be black than gay cos you don’t have to tell your parents’ written on the back has been banned by the advertising watchdog – years after the vehicle was first put on the road by tour operator Wicked Campers.

Just a single complaint was made to the Advertising Standards Bureau, which read: “I am greatly concerned at the offensive message on this Wicked campervan.”

The Australian carried a story headlined ‘No business like slogan business’ in 2009 that singled out Wicked Campers for using the “deliberately offensive slogan”. But until now, not a single complaint from the public has been made about the slogan.

The ASB considered that while the slogan “does reflect a reality that to tell your parents you are gay can be a difficult experience, in our view the tone of the ad suggests that being gay, and being black, is shameful.”

The ruling continued: “The board considered that a majority of the community would consider the message of the advertisement is that being black is somewhat more acceptable than being homosexual, however both characteristics are portrayed as being inferior to the superior perception of being white and heterosexual.”

Wicked Campers did not respond to the ASB’s verdict – but has since removed the slogan from its vans.

The ASB would not comment on whether Wicked Campers is Australia’s biggest serial offender in terms of complaints made about the brand.

Complaints made to the ASB about slogans or images on out of home advertising, which includes transport, have increased from 0.41% of the total in 2002 to 3.7% last year.


  1. Anonymous
    25 Sep 12
    12:34 pm

  2. but we still can’t get facebook to take this shameful site down: http://www.facebook.com/Contro.....mes?ref=ts

  3. John O
    25 Sep 12
    12:35 pm

  4. Only in Australia would this get one complaint years later

  5. whogivesashit
    25 Sep 12
    12:58 pm

  6. John O, are you worried it took so long, or that it happened at all? Whatever, at least it hasn’t led to riots.

  7. BrentH
    25 Sep 12
    1:19 pm

  8. Does this mean that Archbishop Peter Jensen should be ordered off the road as well?

  9. sean
    25 Sep 12
    1:34 pm

  10. We live in a world where 1 complaint gets acted on.

  11. MattP
    25 Sep 12
    2:51 pm

  12. The van in the accompanying photo with the slogan on it has a New Zealand number plate.

    It isn’t registered in Australia so likely isn’t here.

  13. S
    25 Sep 12
    3:20 pm

  14. Is that even a photo of an Australian vehicle? I wasn’t aware we had number plates like that…

  15. audrey
    25 Sep 12
    7:00 pm

  16. They’ve got a really great idea, but insist on ruining it with ‘OMG look how edgy we are’ crap like this.

    I’m also offended by their appalling use of English and punctuation.

  17. Ben Sambell
    26 Sep 12
    5:14 pm

  18. Although I wouldn’t have used this slogan on a vehicle associated with my business (purely for diplomatic reasons), I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with the quote, poor spelling, grammar and punctuation aside. It points out the downside of the anonymity of one minority group in contrast to the conspicuousness of another. The quote itself doesn’t appear, at least on the face of it, to be anti-anything.

  19. Steven
    26 Sep 12
    6:59 pm

  20. I’m actually a HOMO and find this funny! People need to get over themselves and find something better to do with their time…

  21. Tim
    27 Sep 12
    2:02 am

  22. Who gives a feck? It’s a tongue in cheek comment. You’d still need to tell your parents if your a black poofter. So how does it cause any probs. same if your an eyetie or a frenchie or a Jerry. I’d sooner be black than a poof myself. ;-D

  23. Ru Paul
    27 Sep 12
    10:20 am

  24. Is this “advertising”, or just a bad paint job?

    How can advertising standards even get involved in this?

  25. dee me
    28 Sep 12
    10:45 am

  26. oh come on, its as joke!! If Steady Eddie can make his great jokes about being disabled, this joke is totally acceptable.And funny damn it!