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.
However, what was surprising though, was the title of their website report on the dismissal of all Bonds “Boobs” complaints, “Storm in a B cup”. The campaign should not have been labeled in such dismissive terms; the concerns regarding this advertising campaign were serious and worthy of respect. The advertiser, Bonds underwear, was certainly treated seriously. In fact, Bonds was quoted in this report as intending to change their name to “Boobs” during their campaign to demonstrate how seriously they take the product of bras.
This is not the first time Bonds has had to defend its product and marketing. In 2010, after public outcry, Bonds withdrew their range of bra-like products for girls from 6 years old. In this current case, the common complaint from women was to do with objectification; women are tired of marketers promoting them as body parts. The fact that Bonds then linked this campaign to breast cancer is poor taste. Breast cancer survivors are outraged. The last thing a woman who has just had a mastectomy needs is for billboards to be highlighting the body part they’ve just lost. Women are more than body parts. Marketers need to start seeing each woman in the context of being a whole unique person.
Read ASB report here.
In July this year, Ms Francis submitted a complaint to the ASB about the Australian Medical Institute's (AMI) erectile dysfunction billboard in Brisbane's Ferny Grove, "Making Love…Make it bigger & last longer."
Ms Francis argued that the billboard is visible to all ages, including children, as it is along a main road near a number of schools. She conceded also that the reference to "make it bigger" is exploitative and degrading, reinforcing men's and boys' anxiety about their bodies. The billboard contributes to the inappropriate sexualisation of the society and impacting children with messages of sex and threatens their innocence, and urged the ASB to order the removal of the billboard and penalise AMI.
Six weeks after the complaint was made, ASB advised the complaint was upheld and that it determined AMI had breached one or more of the advertiser codes administered by the ASB. AMI will remove the billboards within three weeks of this notice, but without a penalty, which Ms Francis deemed inappropriate considering AMI is a repeat offender.
The ACL has long advocated for stricter legislation against sexually explicit content in our public spaces. Last year, ACL launched a national campaign to make 'outdoor advertising G-rated.'
In April this year, Queensland's Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie announced a parliamentary committee inquiry into establishing legislation that will regulate outdoor advertising in the same way that children's television is regulated. A report will be handed down by January 2014.
ACL is campaigning to make outdoor advertising G-rated.
Momentum is building on this issue. Some members of parliament are beginning to see the negative impacts that highly sexualised outdoor advertising is having on Australia's children.
Yesterday, ACL launched its second campaign video. Watch it on Youtube now!
Also, don't forget that your MPs need your encouragement to take legislative action to clean up our public spaces.
Click here to find out how you can help.
For release: Friday, November 16, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has launched a renewed national campaign to make outdoor advertising G rated.
Sexually explicit material displayed in public areas continues to impact and contribute to the sexualisation of children.
ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis has expressed concern at the effect this is having on families.
“Parents are tired of the inability to protect their children from adult concepts on billboards and shop-front advertising,” Ms Francis said.
“There is substantial evidence that sexualisation harms children. It promotes body image concerns, eating disorders, and gender stereotyping.
“It is concerning also that the degradation of women portrayed by a selection of these billboards is seen as acceptable in accordance with the Advertising Standards Board Code of Ethics.
“We must protect our children from forming unhealthy attitudes towards women and sex,” she said.
ACL is calling upon governments to reassess the current self-regulation scheme and enact legislation that will place further restrictions on outdoor and shop-front advertising to prevent the display of material that is sexually explicit, offensive and/or inappropriate for children.
“We welcome a move by the West Australian parliament to find better ways of protecting children from being exposed to highly explicit content in the media,” Ms Francis said.
The Queensland government has expressed its concern also, stating that “if it is not appropriate to show children on television during prime time, then it is not for outdoor billboard advertising”.
Similar inquiries into reducing sexualised advertising on streets are being held by governments in the US, France and Britain.
“This is an urgent issue and we call upon the Australian government to take the lead, on behalf of Australian children,” Ms Francis said.