Mystery 'land owner' controls billboard contents
Last week the City of Stirling responded to community concerns to say there was nothing it could do about a massive Osborne Park billboard ad flogging subscriptions to an OnlyFans porn account, and that the billboard contents are controlled by “the landowner”. The City is directing community members to lodge complaints with Ad Standards. Not super helpful, given the average turnaround time for an Ad Standards complaint review is 40 days.
Naturally, we were not satisfied - especially given Ad Standards' past endorsement of public porn + prostitution ads. So we did our own research and confirmed WA Billboards as the owner of the billboard.
Here’s what else we found:
- 4 Main Street, Osborne Park - the site of the billboard - is also the site of a massage parlour. The venue is linked to Perth ‘escort services’ - a euphemism for the sex trade.
- The City of Stirling rejected a 2017 application to install a billboard at the address. The application was lodged by a company called Akerele Pty Ltd. Following an appeal by Akerele, the State Administrative Tribunal overturned the City’s decision and granted Akerele a 5 year permit for the billboard.
- It is unclear whether Akerele is the “land owner” which controls the billboard contents. We have requested further information from the SAT through a Freedom of Information request.
- We have also confirmed that surrounding businesses are unhappy about the porn ad and are concerned that it is harming trade.
The individual featured in the ad and connected porn account claimed that the (City of Stirling) Mayor’s office was ‘very keen’ to work with them and ‘go through the process of trying to keep the billboard up’. They appear to have since deleted these claims.
The following was stated regarding communications with Ad Standards:
‘I have also been contacted by Ad Standards Australia in regards to any AANA breaches and I'm confident that it will be ok. If the Community Panel finds anything wrong they are also willing to work with me to adjust the ad to be able to keep it up.’
The individual said they are now looking at other billboard sites and have been contacted by billboard companies in New Zealand and Queensland, stating that they will start going through the process of getting a billboard ad up in Queensland.
If this billboard is allowed to stay up, it sets a precedent for advertisers to freely promote porn subscriptions to audiences which include children.
Don't let the kids in your community become the next targets.