Federal government moves to act on Wicked Campers ‘misogynistic’ and ‘vulgar’ signage

Controversial van hire company Wicked Campers is in the sights of the Federal government with Minister for Women, Kelly O’Dwyer, calling for state and national authorities to work together against the company’s “outdated, misogynistic, vulgar and degrading signage.”

The call to action comes after the Ad Standards Board upheld 15 complaints about the company’s vans during 2018 for offensive murals around topics including childbirth, drug use and masturbation.

The Ad Standards Bureau has found it impossible to enforce rulings against Wicked as the company does not subscribe to the voluntary code observed by most media and advertising organisations.

While the Tasmania, ACT and Queensland state governments have passed laws to deregister Wicked Vans if the company does not abide by ASB rulings, the business has been able to dodge the laws by registering its vehicles in South Australia.

Minister O’Dwyer wrote to state and territory leaders and transport ministers seeking support for a co-ordinated approach to force Wicked Campers to comply with community standards.

“This approach aims to ensure the company can no longer expose cross-jurisdictional loopholes to escape accountability and continue displaying outdated, misogynistic, vulgar and degrading signage which has masqueraded as vehicle advertising for too long,” the minister wrote.

In a statement, O’Dwyer and Federal Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional development, Michael McCormack, also called on international travellers to send Wicked Campers a message by choosing to rent vehicles that don’t carry offensive signage.

Federal opposition spokesperson, Tanya Plibersek, supported the government’s call, saying: “I agree the vans are in poor taste – there’s no place for sexism or misogyny.”

Mumbrella has contacted Wicked Campers and the South Australian transport minister for comment.


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