ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis said she was alerted to the image which was in a children’s section which featured a sexually explicit image of a woman.
Mrs Francis set up a petition on change.org Keep the Ekka suitable for kids - remove explicit sexual imagery.
She petitioned the organisers to remove the image:
“Taking the family to the Brisbane Ekka is a long held tradition and sideshow alley is a fun place for kids with their parents. This imagery is situated in the section of sideshow alley where there are lots of little kids rides. If this image was in an adult workplace it would be deemed as sexual harassment and removed. Our children's innocence should not be compromised by attending the Brisbane Ekka - one of the highlights of the year for many families. Sexual imagery is inappropriate here. Please have these images removed and keep the Ekka as a family friendly place to go.
By Sunday morning, after just 1,059 signatures, the General Manager of Communications for the Ekka Veronica Carew had responded to the change.org petition posting the following message.
“The RNA became aware of this inappropriate image yesterday evening and immediately took steps overnight to have it covered over. This was an unfortunate and isolated oversight which we swiftly moved to have resolved. The RNA appreciates and shares all the concerns raised and is sorry for any offence this image many have caused,” she wrote.
Ms Francis posted in response to the action.
“Grateful to all for your voices which combined have resulted in the Ekka removing the sexualised imagery from sideshow alley. It's a win for our children and for common decency,” ACL’s Wendy Francis said.
This is a great outcome for concerned citizens about the sexualised imagery which children can seek.
Last month the Queensland Government announced it would be introducing laws to penalise advertisers that do not comply with the industry’s code of ethics.
ACL’s Wendy Francis said it’s a step in the right direction but more needs to be done. Specifically Ms Francis wants to see a government avenue for people to use if their complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) is unsuccessful.
Thursday 31st July 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby has congratulated the Queensland government for leading the way in Australia in responding to community concerns regarding sexualised outdoor advertising.
ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis welcomed the government’s commitment to introduce fines to penalise advertisers that do not comply with the industry’s code of ethics.
The commitment was made in the Queensland Government response to the Health and Community Services Committee Report No. 36 Inquiry into sexually explicit outdoor advertising.
Ms Francis said classification issues generally fall to the federal government but it has failed to act on the recommendations from numerous inquiries and reports.
“The state government has responded to the community concerns around sexualised outdoor advertising and found a way it can help bring outdoor advertising in line with community standards by introducing fines for offenders,” Ms Francis said.
“This is part of its overall commitment to make Queensland the safest place in Australia to raise a child,” Ms Francis said.
“The sexualisation of our everyday environment is contributing to a culture where there is an increase in sexual assaults, eating disorders in young children, and depression”, she said.
Ms Francis said today’s announcement would mean companies like Wicked Campers, which has consistently ignored the self-regulated Advertising Standards Board’s rulings, would face fines.
Whilst Ms Francis said today’s announcement was a step in the right direction but she said more still needed to be done.
“The Advertising Standards Board is a self-regulated body. Currently, they alone hand down rulings against its advertisers and there is no recourse once their decision is made, making it difficult to keep advertisers accountable to the community,” she said.
“At the very least we need a government avenue for people to go to if their complaint to the ASB is unsuccessful”, she said.
For release: Thursday 17th July 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the public apology by Wicked Campers for its inappropriate slogans but says harsher penalties need to be introduced to prevent re-offending.
ACL’s spokesperson on the dignity of women Wendy Francis said that although the campervan company has apologised for the latest slogan “In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it”, it’s important for state governments to recognise the urgent need of law reform to keep outdoor advertising in line with community standards.
“Although an apology from Wicked Campers is a welcome move, what’s stopping the company from again plastering sexist and misogynistic material on their vans in a year’s time?” Ms Francis said.
“The self-regulatory system of outdoor advertising is clearly not working. Our children and young people will continue to be exposed to sexualised and degrading content in our public space if penalties are not introduced on companies like Wicked Campers and future offenders,” Ms Francis said.
The promise by Wicked Campers to remove slogans of an “insensitive nature” on their vans over the next six months is again another failure to the community.
“Objectifying and degrading women is a serious matter. If Wicked Campers truly understood this, they would remove the slogans immediately, not wait six months to do so,” she said.
“The sexualisation of our everyday environment is contributing to a culture where there is an increase in sexual assaults, eating disorders in young children, and depression.
“Many sexist slogans, including those Wicked Campers have been responsible for, promote violence against women, which is sadly a massive problem in our country.
“A report published in the Lancet medical journal earlier this year revealed that incidents of sexual violence against women in Australia is more than double the global average,” Ms Francis said.
The recent uproar against the campervan company was triggered over the weekend when a Sydney mother launched an online petition after her 11-year-old daughter spotted the latest slogan on a van in the Blue Mountains.
The change.org petition to “Eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery” has reached over 127,000 signatures to date.
For release: Tuesday 15th July 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby is again calling on state governments to introduce laws regulating outdoor advertising in light of a recent Wicked Campers slogan degrading women.
ACL’s spokesperson on the dignity of women Wendy Francis said the latest slogan from the campervan company – which read, “In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it” – undermines a woman’s worth.
“Time and again, we have seen Wicked Campers ignore calls from the Advertising Standards Bureau to keep its slogans in line with community standards.
“Our children and young people will continue to be exposed to such inappropriate content if our governments fail to intervene,” Ms Francis said.
A Sydney mother recently launched an online petition calling on the Brisbane-based company to remove its slogans, after her 11-year-old daughter spotted the latest slogan on a van in the Blue Mountains.
The change.org petition to “Eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery” has now reached over 90,000 signatures.
Ms Francis said no parent wants their child to be exposed to material that objectifies or demeans women.
“The sexualisation of our everyday environment is causing an increase in sexual assaults, eating disorders in young children, and depression.
“A report published in the Lancet medical journal earlier this year revealed that incidents of sexual violence against women in Australia is more than double the global average.
“Governments across our nation need to open their eyes to the harm that companies like Wicked Campers are causing against vulnerable members of society,” she said.
In April this year, ACL called on the Queensland Government to introduce outdoor advertising laws to keep the public square in line with community standards.
We’ve made good progress, even in the face of opposition to the values of human flourishing, we seek to promote:
- Together we reached an estimated 10,000 viewers with our exclusive pre-election webcast video messages from then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott;
- We’ve upheld the dignity of the aged and infirm by contributing to the defeat of euthanasia laws in Tasmania;
- We achieved bi-partisan agreement in Queensland that action is needed to protect kids from sexualised outdoor advertising;
- We secured an election promise from the Tasmanian Premier to reintroduce the right of Christian schools to hire staff in keeping with their beliefs; and
- And we helped organise the Victorian March for the Babies, the largest pro-life march in Australia, which was attended by as many as 4,000 people.
However, it’s clear that this is no time to rest on our laurels.
We must continue to take every opportunity to bring Christian principles into government and public policy discussion.
We must be the voice for values our nation desperately needs – because we live at a time when decisions are being made that directly affect the culture our children are part of and will have to contend with.
So, as the end of the financial year approaches, please be mindful of how you can help strengthen this voice through your support to ensure we can step into the opportunities that lie ahead.
Please pray for us as we seek to bring Christian influence to our nation.
For release: April 9, 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby is calling for the Queensland Government to urgently act in light of the latest advertising slogan from Wicked Campers and introduce outdoor advertising laws to keep the public space in line with community standards.
ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis said the latest slogan “fat girls are harder to kidnap” by the campervan company degrades women and condones violence against them.
“Members of the public have expressed concern at this slogan and whilst the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has upheld the complaint, Wicked Campers has been free to ignore correspondence from the ASB,” she said.
“The self-regulation system isn’t working and it’s time for the Queensland Government to step in and enforce rulings and introduce penalties,” she said.
“A Parliamentary report into outdoor advertising released in January recommended introducing a co-regulatory approach to advertising to prevent this type of behaviour from happening,” she said.
The report’s recommendations were unanimous and bi-partisan.
Ms Francis said she’s concerned at the time it’s taking for the government to introduce legislation since it and the Opposition agreed to the report’s recommendations.
“The Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told parliament last week that the government would ‘take our time’ to implement the recommendations and work with billboard advertising owners,” she said.
“It’s time for the Queensland Government to respond to community expectations,” she said.
This particular bill was voted down, partly due to technical reasons, but the Government still has an opportunity to follow through on the recommendations the Health and Community Services Committee has made in its January 2014 report following on from the Inquiry into Sexualised Outdoor Advertising. In particular the report recommended regulating outdoor and shopfront advertising to prevent the display of material that is sexually explicit, offensive and/or inappropriate for children. This important and urgent issue is of ongoing concern in the community.
Whilst the parliament did not pass the Katter bill, it is clear from the Hansard record of the discussion, that the support for the issue is very strong in the parliament. The government response to the all-party parliamentary committee inquiry report is due by mid year.
The following members of parliament spoke in support of parents’ right to protect their children from sexualised material and support for children to retain their innocence.
The Attorney General has said that he wants to hear from Queenslanders. Hopefully, it should only be a matter of time before law is introduced that will have the whole parliament’s support.
Mr Shane Knuth (KAP Member for Dalrymple)
‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.’ The sentiment in the wise words of Nelson Mandela are etched in the child and family focused policy that the KAP has developed regarding billboard advertising in Queensland. Two main issues kept resurfacing whilst in discussion with members of the Queensland community. They were: the constant exposure to families and children of M and MA content on billboard advertising; and the geographical placement of M and MA billboard advertising in public spaces that are frequently occupied by families and children.
Mr Jarrod Bleijie (Attorney General, LNP Member for Kawana)
This government is committed to ensuring Queensland is the safest place to raise a family. That is why, in response to community concerns about inappropriate and sexually explicit outdoor advertising, this government took action and referred the issue of outdoor advertising to the Health and Community Services Committee on 17 April 2013, well prior to the member for Dalrymple’s opportunistic political bill here tonight. This committee considered whether the outdoor and billboard advertising industry in Queensland should be reformed, including whether legislative reform is needed to protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit and inappropriate advertising.
On 31 January 2014, the committee tabled a comprehensive report on sexually explicit advertising. The committee’s report makes a number of recommendations, including that the government introduce legislation to establish a co-regulatory approach to outdoor advertising with a recognised industry body to develop a code of ethics for outdoor advertising that is given effect by regulation. An industry adjudication board would also be established to determine whether outdoor advertisements breach the code of ethics, with noncompliance with board determinations to result in the matter being referred to the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to consider enforcement and penalties. The Queensland government is carefully considering the committee’s recommendations to decide the way forward for outdoor advertising in Queensland.
What we will do is consult with Queenslanders. This government was very proud to have set up a committee inquiry to look at this issue, well prior to the member’s bill being introduced in this House. We held a press conference at Parliament House with some ladies who, of course, supported the government’s intention to look at this in a proper way, to talk to the experts and the billboard owners with respect to the fact that we do not want to see billboards that display the objectification of women. We will attend to that, as we have, in a thoughtful process. We set up a committee inquiry. I think that was a great outcome in terms of the committee’s ability to look at the issues. The committee has made some recommendations. There are some controversial recommendations which the billboard companies have been on to me about, but what I have said to the billboard companies is that we will take our time. We are looking at the committee’s recommendations and then the government will respond accordingly in the time allocated to us to respond to the committee report.
What I will do is work with the billboard advertising owners because I believe they genuinely want to work with the government and to cooperate with the government to ensure that the objectification of women and children is not displayed on these particular types of billboards. I look forward very much to working with those advertisers and owners of the billboards and the stakeholders and all the relevant people so that we can come up with a program that actually will work and will lead to the non-objectification of women in Queensland.
Mrs Liz Cunningham (Independent Member for Gladstone)
I was at an ACL conference it would have to be 12 months ago now I think, if not a bit longer. The member for Dalrymple spoke at that conference. Part of that conference was the ACL presenting the need for G rated billboards.
… billboards in the public arena are unavoidable, unless as a parent you feel so strongly about the content of a billboard you will actually alter what would be the most direct travelling route to avoid a sign. Why should you? Why shouldn’t signage around a community be acceptable and appropriate for all ages? I do not think there is a problem with that. It does not impinge on the right of people to advertise their product. It does not impinge on the opportunity for me as a consumer to be told about a product. But I just ask that for my eyes, and more particularly my children and more particularly my grandchildren, they not be influenced by material that is inappropriate either for their age or for our value set. So I support the G rating and I am going to support this piece of legislation.
Mr Ray Hopper (KAP Member for Condamine)
We do not care what consenting adults do in their bedroom and we do not care what they choose to do sexually, but do not put it in front of our kids.
Carl Judge (Palmer United Party MP for Yeerongpilly)
The member for Ipswich spoke about how times change, and they do, but it is not always for the better. We know that children are being sexualised. We know that children are being exposed to violence more and more, and that is being reflected in children’s behaviours in school yards and in courts; for example, children are going to court for serious violent sexual offences.