Ask your council to keep public spaces porn free

Use this as a guide to write to your Council.


Dear (add the name of your city/shire council, Mayor or Councillors),

I am writing to ask for new rules for outdoor advertising to help keep our public spaces free from harmful p*rnography.

The City of Stirling (Western Australia) recently proposed changes to its rules after strong community objections to a massive, streetside suburban billboard which indiscriminately promoted p*rn subscriptions to an all ages audience that included children. The Council received hundreds of complaints from concerned residents who did not want to be - or their children to be - exposed to the ad.

Campaigns organisation Collective Shout led a petition to pull the billboard, signed by 6,500 individuals. But Ad Standards - the body supposed to protect community members from harmful ads - failed to do its job, dismissing hundreds of complaints and effectively endorsing the p*rn billboard.

In its July 2023 meeting minutes, the City of Stirling highlighted the shortcoming of the self regulated advertising complaints handling system, underpinned by the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ Code of Ethics, and administered by Ad Standards:

Relying on the AANA Code of Ethics as the sole means to control sign content is not recommended. Other local governments in Western Australia have recognised the limitation of relying on the Code of Ethics and have made provision in their planning frameworks for increased signage content controls through the requirements for signage strategies for third party signage.

I object to the display of p*rn themed advertising in the public space. It is a form of sexual harassment and grooming and undermines efforts to promote gender equality and eradicate violence against women and girls. 

Decades of research verify the harms of p*rn style and p*rn related advertising to women and girls: it leads the viewer to see women as less than human, and contributes to a culture in which violence against women flourishes. Research also shows that women do not feel safe or welcome in places where this type of advertising is displayed. 

Please, will you follow the City of Stirling’s lead and prioritise the well being of community members - women and girls especially - and introduce similar rules to block p*rn themed ads in our (city/shire)?

I look forward to your response.


(Your name)

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