And its because you bothered to speak out
On Friday afternoon I took a photo of a Brisbane City Council bus with the words "Get off in Thailand" emblazoned across the entire side of the vehicle. The response was swift and condemning when I shared the image on Twitter and Collective Shout's Facebook page shortly after.
On Monday morning, I followed this up with a call to action on our website. You can read that here. I also became aware of the same ad on a billboard outside Brisbane Airport:
As a result of so many people speaking out against these ads, media took interest. I was interviewed by a number of media outlets and appeared in a segment on Channel 9 news.
Air Asia now say they have pulled the ads and Brisbane Airport has announced it is arranging to pull down their billboard ad as a matter of priority.
It is appalling that Brisbane City Council can run ads like this on their bus fleet and then pretend that they have nothing to do with the matter when people make complaints.
The process Council wants you to go through is don't complain to them, complain to Ad Standards. Then you can wait a month or so for Ad Standards to make a "determination." By this time, the ad campaign you've complained to Ad Standards about has run its course and Brisbane City Council has kept its ad revenue.
How much money did Brisbane City Council make from hosting an ad which many agree is a dog whistle to sex tourists?
This is the same process Council makes constituents go through every year when they host ads for Sexpo. We've written before about how Brisbane City Council buses have advertised Sexpo on its buses which drive through the community reaching an all ages audience.
These buses also run the school route, picking up and dropping off your children.
We need an upheaval of the current system of ad industry self-regulation. While Air Asia now say they have pulled the ads, why were they permitted in the first place? How long were Air Asia and Brisbane City Council able to profit from the promotion of sex tourism? And what is to prevent this happening again, and again?
As always, we are so grateful for your support. These harmful ads are being withdrawn because you made the effort to speak out.