“I am a little girl and I am not a slut”: Anti Wicked Camper campaign takes off

Thousands support Sydney mother’s petition against misogynistic Wicked Campers.

Wicked Campers are known for their campervans emblazoned with sexist and demeaning slogans.We’ve written about them before.

One of our supporters, blogger and activist Paula Orbea, decided she had had enough after her young daughter was exposed to a certain van while out with her grandparents.

She wrote on her blog:

wicked_campers_princess.jpg

A few days ago, I went to pick up my 11 and 7 year old daughters from a holiday stint with my parents. As we greeted each other with hugs, my 11 year old did not hesitate in telling me, with great concern, that she saw something terrible when she was in the car with my dad – a van that said all girls were sluts who want to try it just once.

“So it’s official – something I personally called out has encroached and touched my family directly.”

Paula and her daughter contacted the Advertising Standards Bureau where her young daughter made an official complaint. She wrote, “I am a little girl and I am not a slut.”

Paula recounted her frustration as she discovered a long list of complaints against Wicked Campers for similarly misogynistic and demeaning slogans and imagery. Many complaints against Wicked Campers had been upheld, but Australia’s system of industry self regulation means there is no enforcement of the ASB’s ruling, and Wicked Campers have no obligation to remove the advertising. As such, Wicked Campers are free to disregard the ASB’s ruling and do whatever they want- there are no penalties, fines or legislation in place that would prevent Wicked Campers and other advertisers from using misogyny, racism or homophobia to sell their products.

fp.jpg

We have raised this issue before, in submissions to inquiries for advertising and outdoor advertising, calling for a complete overhaul of the current system. We have called for regulation by an independent body rather than the industry itself, as well as pre-vetting of advertisements and substantial penalties for those who continually breach standards and codes, like Wicked Campers.

Paula decided it was time to take action, so she created a petition on change.org calling on Wicked Campers to remove misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery. Her call to action resonated with many people, with thousands signing the petition and condemning Wicked Campers for their sexist and hateful slogans. Sign Paula’s petition here.

In just two days, Paula’s campaign has sparked national media coverage. Wicked Campers has removed the option to post on their Facebook wall after being inundated with complaints from people now empowered to speak out. This is a great lesson to Wicked Campers and other media and advertisers, that demeaning women to promote products is no longer acceptable and will hurt their business. As such, Paula’s campaign is already a success, and we are thrilled to see people like Paula speaking out.

As author and activist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Further reading

Australia’s Wicked campervan company under fire for ‘misogynistic, sexist’ slogans- ABC
Offensive slogan sparks mother to speak out against Australian van hire company- Daily Mail Australia
Mum calls for Wicked Campers to remove demeaning slogans- Mamamia
The Most Sexist Advertising Slogans Of All Time- ThinkProgress
Sydney teacher Paula Orbea launches petition against ‘misogynistic and degrading slogans’ on Wicked Campers vans- News.com.au

 


Showing 1 reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • commented 2014-11-17 01:57:38 +1100
    Apparently Paula won the battle and they agreed to change the offending vans back in July but I was passing Byron Bay today and saw one that said, ‘gas, grass or ass. No one travels free.’ Then on the side it said ‘flash your tits at the driver’.

    Is anyone keeping them accountable to changing the vans?
icon

Recent Friends