Volley Australia should apologise to children and the wider community for subjecting them to highly sexualised advertising to sell sport shoes, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

WARNING: Explicit links and content

The call follows the advertising watchdog ruling this week that Volley’s advertising campaign, featuring naked people in sexual positions, was inappropriate and breached the industry’s codes.

ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis also called on the federal government to change the law so that serial offenders like Volley Australia are fined for breaching the advertising code.

Yesterday’s Advertising Standards Board ruling was in response to a complaint in early January from Ms Francis and other members of the public brought on after Volley had ignored earlier rulings against them last year.

“Despite being found in breach of the code last year, Volley continued to target kids with their advertising which included full nudity and sexually explicit messaging,” Ms Francis, ACL spokesperson for women and children, said.

ACL managing director Lyle Shelton called on Volley Australia to apologise to Ms Francis for its offensive, misogynist tweet after her complaints to the ASB.

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“Volley’s tweet directed at Ms Francis is offensive and misogynist. They should apologise to her,” Mr Shelton said.

Ms Francis made the complaint on January 4. The decision was made by ASB on February 8 but was not made public until February 20.

“For an entire month, Volley were given a free kick to continue to sexualise our children,” Ms Francis said.

“And when the ASB ruled against Volley – for a second time on this ad campaign – there was no penalty, no fine, no nothing,” Ms Francis said.  

She said the Federal Government now needed to take responsibility for enforcing fines on advertisers who ignored community standards.

The ACL has encouraged people to write to Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield asking him to take steps to ensure advertisers uphold community standards.

“As Volley Australia has demonstrated, self-regulation has clearly failed,” Ms Francis said. 

“The Australian public have an expectation that children deserve to be protected from sexually explicit adult concepts. It is in recognition of their basic right to innocence.

Ms Francis said many parents would welcome the ASB decision that Volley’s advertisement campaign does ‘not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience which would include children’.

ENDS