Queensland Government eyes offensive slogan ban in crackdown on Wicked Campers

Queensland is looking to deregister vehicles with offensive slogans from its roads, in a move targeting the controversial Wicked Campers.

wicked chicken and egg

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has announced plans to amend laws to deregister commercial vehicles which do not comply with decisions made by advertising industry regulator the Advertising Standards Bureau.

It is a move understood to be targeting Wicked Campers, which repeatedly ignores rulings by the ASB, including 10 just this year.

Currently there is no penalty if Wicked Campers do not comply with the rulings by removing the offensive slogans from vehicles.

According to a report by the Brisbane Times, D’Ath said: “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.

Yvette D'Ath:

Yvette D’Ath: If they refuse to remove the offensive slogans, their vehicles will be off the road.

“They have been subject to 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.”

The move have been welcome by the Ad Standards Bureau (ASB) and the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA).


Fiona Jolly, CEO of the ASB said: “The advertising self-regulation system has more than 99 % compliance by industry with determinations of the Advertising Standards Board.

“The ASB has been working with the Queensland Government for some time to find a way to get vans with offensive slogans and images off the road and we welcome today’s announcement by the Attorney General in Queensland.

The consistency of Wicked Campers ignoring rulings by the ad watchdog has long been an argument suggesting the industry regulator is toothless, and that industry regulation as a whole does not work.

The Advertising Standards Bureau review of operations for 2015 revealed that 13 advertisements from four advertisers – including Wicked Campers – were subjected to complaints by consumers, and that the relevant advertisers failed to respond to demands to amend or discontinue/remove the ads.

According to D’Ath, this solution allowed the ASB to maintain its power but gave their rulings teeth.

“The owners of these vehicles are in business, and some may see the offence and outrage they cause as a form of free publicity,” she said, in answer to why she refused to name the notorious company, which has been banned from some caravan parks, as well as the focus of national petitions.

“Now they have a strong financial incentive to comply with the ASB, because if they don’t, their vehicles will be unregistered, off the road, and unable to generate revenue.  Should they attempt to relocate their business interstate, I would encourage other jurisdictions to consider similar laws so that these offensive slogans cannot continue to be displayed.

“This is a solution that imposes minimal additional regulatory burden.”

Head of the marketer association AANA CEO, Sunita Gloster said: “Responsible advertisers acknowledge that their licence to advertise goes hand in hand with a commitment to aligning their advertising with industry and community standards.


Gloster welcomed the move.

“The Attorney-General’s move reinforces the collaboration and commitment the industry makes to responsible and respected marketing.”

Laws enforcing the de-registrations are expected to be put before parliament by the end of the year.


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