Yesterday I took two of my children into town for ice cream. This is what they were exposed to on a busy Perth street.
Ad Standards has previously dismissed complaints over this same venue’s ‘Miss Nude’ billboards, on the basis that “based on the location of the building, the audience likely to be frequenting the area are generally customers of the venues and that... this is the relevant audience.”
But the “location of the building” is a busy street in Perth- one with restaurants, ice cream stores, a bookstore, library and Time Zone, and the audience is everyone. Why do sex industry interests trump kids rights? If public spaces include adult venues, do they become off limits to children Ad Standards? Are children not welcome in public spaces?
The harms from everyday exposure to sexually objectifying imagery like this are well-established. With twenty years of empirical research, 135 studies found across 109 publications, there is no shortage of research into the negative effects of sexual objectification. Consistent evidence found that:
"regular, everyday exposure to [sexually objectifying portrayals of women] are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women's competence, morality, and humanity."
What is the message being communicated to my daughter about women and girls? What do images like this teach her about how her body should look, where her value lies and who she should aspire to be? What do these images teach my son about what women are for? How does this near constant backdrop of sexist and sexualised images of women’s bodies prepare them for adult life and relationships? This view of women as endlessly sexually available is so normalised and accepted it is routinely broadcast on billboards and shopfront windows and nobody even blinks. How does this perceived acceptance of women as sex objects impact young people’s understanding of women and their place in the world?
Ad Standards consistently allows the sex industry to target children.
This photo of a billboard advertising a strip club was taken from a Brisbane boys school. Ad Standards dismissed complaints, and ruled the strip club ad treated sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience- school children.
Ad Standards gave the green light to Honey B’s strip club billboard outside a school:
Ad Standards allowed sex industry exhibition Sexpo to advertise on school buses, including one emblazoned with the slogan "The most fun you can have with your clothes on" and others complete with URLs to hardcore live-streaming pornography.
A life size poster of this image was located on a busy Adelaide street. Ad Standards ruled this outdoor advertising was not in breach of industry codes and standards because "the image is relevant to the advertised product". The product was women, for men's sexual use.
Our current system of ad industry 'regulation' is broken. The harms of sexualising children are well-established, but the commercial interests of advertisers are time and again prioritised above children's rights and wellbeing. The ad industry was put on notice 8 years ago that they had one last chance to turn things around. The industry has proven that it cannot be trusted to regulate itself. It's time for a change.
This Wicked Campervan was spotted in Brisbane last week with Victorian licence plates:
(pic: Boycott Wicked Campers Facebook)
Under existing laws, there is nothing to prevent this. Even when Ad Standards upholds complaints- as it has against Wicked Campers more than eighty times - they have no authority to enforce rulings, and there are no penalties for repeat offenders.
Collective Shout is calling for uniform laws across the country to deregister Wicked Campers if it does not abide Ad Standards rulings. Tasmania, ACT and Queensland have already passed these laws, but we still need MPs to enact similar legislation in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, where a private members bill by MP Katrine Hilydard has received overwhelming support.
Just last month, the federal Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer called for a national response against Wicked Campers’ “sexist, misogynist and offensive slogans”, writing to state and territory ministers seeking their urgent support.
Also in March, festival promoter Adrian Buckley announced that Wicked Campers would be banned from Wollombi music festival. We welcomed this news, and are calling on other music festivals to do the same.
Objectifying Christmas promotion turns heads; stomachsRead more
The Panel noted that the advertisement was in the widow of shopping centres and considered that the relevant audience for this advertisement would be broad, and include children.
The Panel considered the second image. The Panel considered that the poses of the women in this advertisement were more sexualised, with the women holding each other as though they are about to kiss. The Panel noted that the bottom of the body suite worn by the woman who was standing was extremely high-cut and exposed a large amount of the woman’s groin area. The Panel considered that this in combination with the sexualised pose of the women was a highly-sexualised image which did not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience and that the advertisement did breach Section 2.4 of the Code.
Ad Industry self-regulation means they get away with it
"The advertiser has not provided a response to the Panel's determination"
Sign the petition to Westfield hereRead more
With no legislation in Western Australia forcing Wicked to comply, expect to see this van again
"This transport advertisement has a WA registration of 1DEA.616 and with text displayed on the boot stating "I'm here for the *bukakke."
*This sexually explicit term refers to a practice seen in hardcore pornography.
With no enforcement laws in place, South Australians can expect to see this van again
Wicked Camper Van with South Australian registration S 388 BSU with the words “if you want to toughen up grow a vagina - those things can really take a pounding” on the rear of the vehicle.Read more
The panel considered that the relevant audience for this advertisement would be broad and include children.
However, the best interests of children were disregarded because the sex trade has a right to promote its business, sexually objectifying and exploiting women.Read more
The Berlin Government has become one of the latest to ban sexist advertising in public places.
Advertising Executives Survey
One of the strategic goals of Collective Shout is to improve advertising standards with regards to sexual objectification of girls and women. We would be most appreciative if you could answer the following questions on advertising regulation. Your answers are strictly anonymous. Your anonymous responses will be used for research and educational purposes. Thank you for your support.