Advertising Complaints

The Advertising Standards Bureau, which is a body of advertisers that self-regulates industry codes that it has developed, has rejected 23 complaints received from the public in January against its members, including six complaints against the graffiti covered “Wicked” campervans. The website shows that no complaints were supported by the Bureau in January. This was a lower number of complaints than that rejected in the previous month. Last year the Bureau received 600 complaints of which 80 they said breached their industry code of ethics.

A Case Study: Wicked campers operates under the catchphrase “Pay with your soul not your wallet”

The vehicles are covered with graffiti slogans such as “Don’t assume I’m not cheap. Meaningless punishment, running around getting whacked off scooby snacks, Honk if you had it last night, I lost my virginity but I still have the box it came in.”

Defending the slogan “Honk if you had it last night” Wicked campers says:

“It does not say what it is. It is not our fault that some people may read into this in a rude manner. Children would not read it like this, so this makes it suitable for its intended audience. We apologise that we can not control where people’s minds take them, they read what they choose to read. I hope you can see that we have not breached any code of ethics with this slogan, we especially have not breached section 2.3”

Action: To lodge a complaint against an advert: http://www.adstandards.com.au/pages/page38.asp

To find out how the self regulation works and to look at what adverts are causing offence and why the bureau has rejected the complaints visit: http://www.adstandards.com.au/pages/casestudy_search.asp

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POSTED 6 Feb 2010
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