A week and a half ago, I wrote about Government owned Transperth buses advertising live sex shows. Despite contacting the Advertising Standards Board, various Government bodies and MPs (including the Premier, Mark McGowan), I was told nothing could be done.
A representative from Transperth then called me to apologise and assure me that the bus ads would be removed “as a matter of urgency”. I was pleased to know that Transperth had committed to take action, even if it was late.
8 days later, on my way to picking up my children from school, I saw a bus with the ad still intact. Transperth had done nothing, and the buses were still driving all around the neighbourhood, despite the fact that I had alerted them to the problem over a week ago.
Ad Standards Board refuses to consider complaints about promotion of pornographic websites
Two weeks after making my initial complaint about the pornographic website being advertised on buses, I received an email back from the ASB. They notified me that they had already received complaints for this ad on the basis of its sexualized imagery, complaints they had dismissed. Given they had already addressed the matter, they would not consider my complaint. I wrote back, making the argument that while they had dismissed complaints pertaining to the image, my complaint was on the grounds that the web address for a hardcore porn site streaming live sex shows was featured, and asked them to reopen the discussion given this.
I have not heard back.
This is the state of advertising industry self-regulation in Australia. The sex industry can freely promote pornographic websites (on Government owned buses, no less) and members of the community can spend hours pushing for regulatory bodies to take action with no results.
The advertising industry has proved time and again it cannot be trusted to regulate itself. For years it has prioritized the financial interests of the industry over the wellbeing of the community, and now we have reached the point where the ASB permits ads for live-streamed pornography websites on buses, refusing to even consider complaints, all the while claiming that self-regulation is a success. The system is broken.
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