8 October 2015

The Australian Christian Lobby today once again called for the removal of a sexually exploitative billboard in Townsville which remains after the Advertising Standards Board (ASB) confirmed a breach of guidelines over two years ago. (14th August 2013)

It is almost ironic that the wording on the billboard says ‘I’m waiting’, when what women are really waiting for is an end to degrading sexualised advertising.

This is a clear indication that self-regulation is not working. Despite the ASB’s ruling, the advertiser has refused to comply and the billboard remains more than two years later. The advertisement is above a carpark used by patrons to family restaurants and entertainment centres and is viewed by a broad audience including children.

Two years ago, the Advertising Standards Board believed that the advertisement presented the woman in a manner that was subservient and degrading and that the depiction of her waiting to serve or provide sexual gratification to others was degrading to her and to women in general.

As long as there is no penalty for advertisers who won’t keep our public spaces safe for kids, then advertising which discriminates against, objectifies and exploits women will continue. The current self-regulation scheme must be re-assessed so that vulnerable women and children can be protected from sexually explicit and inappropriate material.

Our public spaces are fair game for this harmful material despite being the most accessible to children. A G-rated outdoor advertising system would improve our cultural narrative about women and give children their innocence, which is their right.

The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on State MP for Herbert, Ewen Jones, and the Australian Minister for Communications Hon Mitch Fifield MP to intervene – we have waited long enough!