Westfield CEO responds: is not in a position to implement standards for advertising in Westfield shopping centres.
The CEO of Westfield has now responded to petition leader Kenneth Thor. Thor has to date collected over 55,000 signatures calling for better advertising standards in Westfield shopping centres.
Peter Allen, CEO of Scentre group (owner and operator of Westfield Australia), acknowledged his role as a male Champion of Change in working to end violence against women.
None the less, Allen expresses that Westfield lessees have a substantial degree of autonomy in “how they sell and promote their wares… as long as they are doing so within the parameters of their legal obligations”.
Allen acknowledges that some of the more "provocative elements" should be removed from Honey Birdette's latest ad featuring a Santa Clause snapping the underwear of a lingerie-clad model. What CEO Peter Allen has failed to acknowledge is the repeated and ongoing offences of Honey Birdette using advertising material that is clearly in breach of the advertising code. The issue is not this single ad, it is a continual flaunting of community standards in what should be a family-friendly shopping centre.
Allen also clarified that the appropriate body for regulation of advertising standards was the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) with “well-established and well-understood measures in place for Australian advertisers”. Yet even when the ASB requests removal of an ad, Honey Birdette is under no obligation to do so and has responded in the past by refusing to remove offending ads.
The ASB has no authority to ensure compliance with the advertisers code. This is why it is critical that Westfield set a standard to ensure community standards are upheld.Given the well-established loophole that effectively sees advertisers like Honey Birdette go entirely unregulated, Westfield is in effect shirking their corporate social responsibility to ensure a family-friendly environment for their customers.
Collective Shout is calling for a national day of action to #BoycottWestfield tomorrow, Friday 24th November.
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