Earlier this year, a huge billboard with a sexually explicit photo in Osborne Park in WA sparked public outrage. The mainstream media and talk back radio carried the story. There was broad community outrage. The result was that some 350 formal complaints were lodged with AD Standards. ACL was one of the many community groups that lodged formal complaints.
On April 26th all complainants were advised that the Community Standards Panel had decided that the advertisement was acceptable and did not violate the voluntary code that advertisers agree to abide by. How the Panel came to this conclusion, given that the code requires prevailing community standards to always be taken into account, was unfathomable!
How the Panel could conclude that a massive sexually explicit picture is in keeping with prevailing community standards when it would be illegal to display such an image in a work place baffled everyone.
ACL was not prepared to accept such a fob off, so we paid the necessary fee and lodged a submission to the Independent Reviewer, who looked at the case and decided that the advertisement should be referred back to the Community Standards Panel, for review.
That is a small victory. Please pray that the Community Standards Panel will do its job properly, and rule that this advertisement, which was taken down after a short period of time, did in fact violate the Advertising Standards Code.