The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the decision by the Advertising Standards Board that Honey Birdette’s Christmas advertising in Westfield shopping centres was offensive and contravened community standards.

ACL spokesperson for women’s interests, Wendy Francis, said unfortunately the ASB ruling this week came seven weeks after the complaint was lodged by the Australian Christian Lobby.

“It’s too late. The advertising has long gone, and the damage has been done,” Ms Francis said.

“Christmas is a time when children are on holidays and the shopping centres are full. “You would hope that advertisers would be focusing on the joy of the season and contributing to a family atmosphere that shopping malls seek to generate at this time.”

The Board found that the advertisement in question

  • was degrading to women
  • was not an appropriate image for a broad audience of a shopping mall which includes children
  • does not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience which would include children.

“The advertiser, in this instance Honey Birdette, is a repeat offender when it comes to degrading and hyper sexualised advertising,” Ms Francis said.

“As before, Honey Birdette has shown complete disregard for their advertising audience which includes thousands of children, and for the finding from the ASB.”

In their response to the ASB decision they state, “it is actually one of our more conservative campaigns”.

“It’s time the Government either ended the farce that is the Advertising Standards Board, or alternatively, give them the power to enforce their rulings, and demand this be done in a timely manner,” Ms Francis said.

“It’s not rocket science. Our children’s right to innocence is being trashed, and, at a time when our nation’s focus is on stopping the scourge of domestic violence, Australian women are being degraded in a most public manner.

“The ASB has no recourse. They have tried to give Honey Birdette a rap across the knuckles – many times. They have been ignored.”

The Australian Christian Lobby is still awaiting a response to a complaint it lodged with the ASB on January 4 against sexually explicit Volley advertising.

“We wait. Children lose,” Ms Francis said.