Literally Wicked. Campers still offend.

January 16, 2015

‘Wicked Campers Owner, John Webb wishes to acknowledge the prevailing community opinion by REMOVING the slogan in question and making a commitment over the coming six months to changing slogans of an insensitive nature. Bear in mind however, many of the images presented in the media of our vehicles are from up to 8 years ago, and the vehicles simply do not exist anymore.’ (From Press Release: July 16 2014)

I have to say, now that the commitment John Webb made in his Press Release expires today, I was probably the only chump who actually held hope that he and his team – including Ross Dudgeon, who wrote and spoke to me on John Webb’s behalf six months ago – would keep their word. It appears, however, that their ‘concern’ for what a great deal of people perceived as crossing-the-line, was a mere flash in the pan to divert any more attention toward the business and its practices because, the simple fact is, their promise has not been kept.

I contacted Wicked Campers a few weeks ago but they have not responded to me in regards to this matter. The campaign I initiated six months ago, which started with my 11 year old seeing a very offensive sloganattracted world-wide attention with 133 articles written – had a Change.org petition won in 4 days with 127, 000+ signatures – inspired Greens Senator, Larissa Waters, to put forward a motion to the Senate to condemn Wicked Campers, which received a rare, unanimous vote – but, regardless of all this, Wicked Campers have still decided to discard their own commitment to change.

Over the last few weeks, more and more people have been coming forward with images of Wicked Camper vans, that have been photographed around Australia, and they’re not impressed. The most frustrating component continues to be the fact that parents find themselves powerless when their children read aloud inappropriate slogans they sight and then scramble to try and create a ‘child-friendly’ explanation; as well as the fact that a wider community – outside the tiny 20s, backpacker demographic Wicked Campers aims at – are also not wishing to read them either.

Let’s not forget that this violation of the public space, encapsulates the biggest problem. Noone is denying that people can’t share a ‘joke’ amongst themselves, but it is the intrusion and face-rubbing of these ‘jokes’ in the common spaces of society, that infuriates a large portion of people. It must also be made clear that this does not mean that Wicked don’t have any vans with good slogans – on the contrary, there are some good ones out there with beautiful art work.

But that is not what all of this is about.

** Addition: On April 24 2015, John Webb released the following Press Release. Please note the dripping contempt of this person.

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So let’s have a look.
[I have been updating this post with photos sent to me from around Australia as they come. I recently put up the latest batch sent by the public from this year – 2016]

** Addition photographed at a Splendour in the Grass carpark Byron Bay, NSW, 22 July 2016. Splendour in the Grass made a commitment to tape over – or deny entry to – any slogans that would be deemed inappropriate for its all-age event. This one either slipped through the cracks or the commitment was not honoured. This slogan is pretty anti-woman.

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** Addition photographed in the Garden City Westfield’s carpark QLD, 20 June 2016.
So – according to Wicked – either way, women are ‘f**ked’, right?

** Addition photographed at Noosa National Park QLD, 16 June, 2016.
More objectification of women’s bodies.


** Addition photographed in the carpark of tourist site, Sky Tram, Blue Mountains NSW, 17 April 2016
This doesn’t even pretend to be clever – just hyper sexualising females, diminishing any respect that can be held. 

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** Addition: photographed in Byron Bay NSW, 14 April 2016
Simply against females.

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** Addition: photographed in Queenstown Tasmania, 3 April 2016
It’s not shower with your neighbour’s son, now is it?

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** Addition: photographed Brighton, Victoria 30 March 2016
This is an appalling example, where not only are women being objectified through the hyper-sexualised image of spreading her legs – they are referred to as GIRLS.

This slogan does nothing to lift the respect for women and girls as being here for any other purpose except to be viewed sexually. This slogan forces those who read it to visualise a sexual mental picture with a female and this company perpetuates this toxic attitude through their public travelling billboards.
ENOUGH. This is misogyny.

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** Addition: photographed Easter Saturday 26 March 2016 on the Tasmanian Peninsula with an 8 and 10 year old asking questions.
The disturbing thing about this van is how the slogan on the back is coupled with a male sculling alcohol with the tag, Gone Drinking – a pissed male talking cunnilingus; not a good combination to advertise in this current climate.

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** Addition: Filmed in the Blue Mountains 9 March 2016 in front of a park with children.

** Addition: photographed 5 March 2016 – Melbourne, VIC

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** Addition: photographed 29 Feb 2016 – Byron Bay, NSW
When you see the definition of the word – it is one of the worst slogans on the road. I spoke with a young adult recently about this word and she said she knew what it meant because young males seem to be using the term often.
PS On 16 May, the Chief Censor of New Zealand banned this slogan as it was seen as ‘an expression of misogyny that degrades and dehumanises women.’ If this slogan is seen on the streets of NZ, John Webb will cop a $200, 000 fine. Australian Censorship Board cannot do the same, therefore this van is still on our streets.

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** Addition: photographed 27 Feb 2016 – Lawson, Blue Mountains, NSW
Bitch is a hugely used derogatory slur against women – or men who are being put down by being compared to women. Plus wrong use of ‘your’.

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** Addition: photographed 27 January 2016 – on Princes highway, leaving Pambula NSW.
…because ‘landing’ on men is all women are good for, right?

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** Addition: photographed 17 Jan 2016 – Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains, NSW

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** Addition: photographed 18 December 2015 – Hobart, Tasmania
This is a slogan that passive-aggressively tries to silence and throws everything into the ‘it’s a joke’ department.

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** Addition: photographed 12 April 2015 – Bruny Island, Tasmania

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** Addition: photographed 12 April 2015 – Gold Coast M1

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** Addition: photographed 21 April 2015 – Ballina

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** Addition: photographed 25 March 2015 – Broadway, Sydney

Side of van:

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The back (for the number plate):

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** Addition: photographed 1 March 2015 – near Hobart.

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** Addition: photographed Feb 25 2015 – Darwin
I have a BIG PROBLEM with this following slogan. Today is the 18th March and we have just heard of the 24th woman murdered in Australia so far this year – 2015 is 11 weeks old tomorrow. That’s 2 women a week over last year’s one. There is some buzz in the media about this statistic wondering why it’s happening. Well, of course, there are many factors that contribute to the perceptions of women in a society but they all play a role.

This van PARTICIPATES in perpetuating a toxic and violent perspective about women.
SHAME ON YOU, WICKED CAMPERS!

** Addition – yesterday, the 9th April, the 29th woman was murdered due to male violence, in 2015 so far. That’s jumped from one woman a week to #OneEveryThreeDays – just one year to the next. This is an emergency.

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** Addition photographed 12 February 2015 – Blenheim, New Zealand
I have included this photo because the slogan perpetuates a very dangerous perspective about women in this current paradigm. THIS COMPANY HAS NO INTEGRITY!
It reads: ‘I’ve often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming.’

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** Addition: photographed 6 March 2015 in a Big W carpark; Ballarat VIC.
It reads – ‘Your thighs won’t touch if my head’s between them.’

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** Addition: photographed 7 March 2015 – Eildon Road, St Kilda Melbourne

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** Addition: photographed 24 Feb 2015 in a Coles Supermarket carpark, Port Adelaide

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** Addition photographed 20 Feb 2015 – Seacliff Esplanade, Adelaide

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** Addition photographed 2 Feb 2015 – Surfers Paradise Queensland.
This one is ABHORRENT and I’m not speaking about the spelling mistake. I have been informed that an abused girl burst into tears when she found herself behind this van. Not insensitive enough?

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** Addition photographed 9 Feb 2015 – Main Beach, Queensland + Dec 27 2014 – King Georges Rd Sydney

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** Addition photographed 23 Jan 2015 –  Robina, Queensland

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** Addition photographed 1 Jan 2015 – near Movieworld in QLD

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Students of mine, sent me the following two images they saw on their travels:
Photographed in October 2014 – Canberra.

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*** ^^^ So much for getting rid of misogynistic slogans. ^^^ ***

Photographed in Jindabyne in August 2014.
This one may have been sprayed over as I sent the image to Wicked Campers. Without the clear image of the number plate, however, meant it made it harder to locate.

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The slogan below (taken on the 26th December in Sydney) actually comes from a cigarette ad from the ’70s (an ad I’ve shown students when we were studying sexist advertising from the days of yore) but most would not know this fact. Those reading this would assume the ‘money-shot’ from porn – ejaculating in a woman’s face. Abhorrent misogyny.

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** Addition seen on the 26 Feb 2015 – West Melbourne.

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‘Slut’ – that derogatory term applied to females, now attached to a child’s toy:
(Image from Instagram site)

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The van below caused a mother, Christine King, to contact Wicked Campers due to the fact this particular van was parked outside a busy cafe area in Brisbane in November – at the school pick-up time – the main part that was visible to her and her kids (as seen from her photo below) said: You’re F#ckin’ Out! I’m F#ckin’ In!
I was under the impression that the use of the word ‘fuck’ is not permitted in public advertisements and yet… voilá!

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Then there’s what’s actually written on the back of the same van:

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Wicked Campers brushed Christine off when she contacted them, so she registered an official complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau – which was upheld – but again, Wicked Campers have failed to comply to that ruling.

Christine also wrote to Brisbane City Council, the State Premier, the Police Commissioner and Police Minister and all have come back with the same conclusion – outlined succinctly by her local MP Aaron Dillaway. He wrote:

‘Under the current system, outdoor advertising relies heavily on self-regulation, and those who refuse to comply are not penalised. For this reason, the Attorney-General announces that he is committed to exploring options to properly enforce the decisions of the ASB, which raised in the HCSC report.’

Dillaway also wrote to the Hon Jarrod Bleijie – The Queensland Attorney General and Minister for Justice – and below was his response.

King, Christine. 08.12.14. Ministerial Response RE Outdoor Advertising

In short, consequences are being looked into for those who breach ASB rulings, but for now, Wicked Campers continues to ride the loophole they have always exploited.

This exploitation has allowed the following, appalling slogan to exist (even though the ASB found the play on words to be sufficiently clever to not uphold a complaint against it); saying a woman can’t wrestle + you should see her box (vulva). Just take the word ‘but’ out and this becomes something more sinister. Why anyone would write that a female can’t wrestle in these contentious times of domestic and social violence against women – is beyond me.

** Addition 13 March 2015 in Melbourne

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Finally,  I saw on the Instagram page of one of the artists, (from November 2104) that the van with ‘Random Breast Test’ had been sprayed over by a disgruntled person (something John Webb said people could do in his Press Release:

‘In the spirit of being ‘actionist’, Wicked Campers also invites anybody who feels strongly offended by a slogan to either paint or tape over it.’

:

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Well, redo they did – the van below being seen on Jan 2 2015 near Kings Cross, Sydney – which makes me wonder why Wicked Campers didn’t respray it with something else – AS THEY PROMISED.

Question #221: How is it possible that these vans are permitted on the streets with NO consequence?

No other platform is permitted to do the same – so why are Wicked Campers?

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This is now my next step and am currently working toward there being a consequence.

I cannot speak for anyone else – but I am more incensed now than I was six months ago.

Misogyny aside, I will leave you with these other slogans which demonstrate the gutter level of ‘humour’ they can utilise – ones generally obsessed with sex.

** Addition Jan 25 2015
Seen just before Christmas 2014 in Coffs Harbour:

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** Addition Jan 24 2015
Seen on 23rd November in Coffs Harbour.

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A video blog from a few weeks ago by blogger Eden Riley describes the fury she had when her 6 year old son read out the following slogan:

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Caption on the back reads: ‘I know the perfect place for us to dry hump”.
Image from Instagram page.

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Mia Freedman of Mamamia saw the following van in a Woolies carpark in a holiday coastal town, on Boxing day.

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The remaining images are from the Wicked Campers Instagram page – all posted in the last few months.

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Note the comments written about this van. In Bondi; late September 2014.

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I also want to add, that as a parent, there are a whole lot of other perspectives that I want to navigate my children through, at the age appropriate time. One of these is the issue of drugs and there are also many WC vans that also make reference to drug taking.
I found the following (from their Instagram page) to be in ridiculous poor taste, as well as one that would particularly draw the attention of children:

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People power must prevail as these perspectives are breaking Community Standards but being thrust into our public sphere regardless.
I am working on getting legislation passed to hold those who don’t take down advertisements deemed inappropriate by the Advertising Standards Bureau. I’ll need your support.

I would like to importantly add – that this needs to be tackled without any threatening comments or violent threats to anyone at Wicked Campers. That solves nothing and creates more of the same.

I will keep you posted from my end.

Paula.

265 Responses to “Literally Wicked. Campers still offend.”

  1. Kath said

    Paula, this makes me so angry. What can we do to stop these creeps!

    • It’s up to us, I guess, becasue there are no laws in place to make them accountable.
      PS I want to add that it’s actually my next step – working on getting legislation changed to hold companies like Wicked accountable after ASB rulings.

    • Jeff said

      I question the judgement of the renters that they would willingly be associated with such morally bereft slogans.
      As for the gymnast, my iPad shows only a leg & it didn’t occur to me that it might be on a naked body. Indeed on Googling “gymnasts” under Images, I found hundreds of similar legs, all on gymnasts fully clothed for competition.

      • Thanks Jeff, yes – I think they’re predominantly young backpackers, so who knows what they’re thinking – although there are many stories of people being disappointed that their van has what it has on it, but have to take it (for whatever reason) or they simply don’t understand the trashy double meaning due to language barriers.
        I carefully chose this image for its amazing representation of balance – not because they’re gymnasts. That’s what drives me.

      • Bruce Banner said

        Most people aren’t as self righteous and see the funny side. Most of these images are both true and amusing. Sorry that you are so easily offended and/or struggle to be honest about reality with your children

      • This is now a question of integrity.
        A promise was made by the owners (who said I had intellect and poise in how I ran the original campaign) – it was not kept.
        In terms of offense, this went global and even reached the Senate – four days after the petition was launched – and Wicked Campers was unanimously condemned for their more vulgar and misogynist slogans.
        I have a firm understanding of the very real hypersexualised culture that surrounds us and navigate my girls through it as best I can. They certainly have a better grasp of it all as they wouldn’t find ‘most of the images both true and amusing’.
        Funny that you defend a man and his company when he has proven that his word is worth nothing. Doubt he’d have your back – how lucky he has your support.

    • Pierre M-M said

      I’d say take the arrogant misogynist son of unmarried parents at his word!!!!

      He said the slogans should be sprayed over so let’s do it!

      (Matt Black is the least attractive colour in my view).

      So spray cans at the ready Folks and go get ’em!!!!!

      • Derpy said

        I would never condone any kind of illegal activity, but if I did, I’d suggest painting over the number plates and contact details.

    • Kelly Moore said

      I am American, so my comment may have no relevance, but we have many state ordinances directed at the prevention of “the corruption of a minor,” whereby public displays of obscene material is forbidden.

      As a lawyer, I consider monetary sanctions to be extremely persuasive, so I would see if you have any like statutes (pronounced illegality would be helpful), and then recruit 200 or 300 parents who would like to sue this company for damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, corruption of minor children, and anything else that might seem relevant.

      Make the bastards bleed money. Then they’ll stop.

      • Hey Kelly – thanks so much for your comment. I actually have a meeting with a Federal MP soon to discuss exactly this – to change legislation and have businesses like Wicked Campers incur a fine.
        *fingers crossed*

      • Kelly Moore said

        No, you misunderstand me. Sue the company — a civil suit for violation of criminal statutes and for corruption of minors and for infliction of emotional distress on minors.

        Sue them. Do not wait for the government to act. Gather together some motivated parents and sue them.

      • Oh OK. I’m following you know.
        I have had someone say it before ‘as a joke’. I would have to check the legalities of that here.
        Thanks for your comment, Kelly.
        🙂

    • Jeanne said

      I think the only thing that might finally get their attention is if people started carrying hand grenades and blowing up these offensive vehicles (unoccupied, of course).

  2. Narelle said

    It seems (hardly surprisingly) that self regulation is not working. This situation is not acceptable! Thanks for the update

    • In this case, it’s not the self regulation that doesn’t work – as the ASB has upheld *many* complaints about Wicked Campers, over many years – it’s the fact there’s no penalty for businesses who do not take down the offending advertisment.
      Wicked Campers have been exploiting this loophole for a long time.

  3. Verina said

    Just makes me despair….
    sorry I have nothing else 😥

  4. HP said

    Paula: email me if I can do anything. I can ask Drum to do a follow up to last year’s piece, and/or you could send this to Drum, OLO etc. By the way, looks like a great cartoon on your twitter page, is it possible to see the whole? x

  5. GrahamS said

    Get over it ladies – obviously you don’t have enough in your lives to keep you occupied. I would suggest you get lives and get over your petty campaign to stop this clever, innocent and sometimes rather funny bit of corporate marketing

    • Noone’s against their other slogans – just the ones that are misogynistic and offensive.
      And it’s not just ‘the ladies’, I had a lot of support from many people of all genders. Marketing from the gutter and adhering to a moronic culture is easy. Anyone can do that. I’d hardly call it clever.
      Thanks for your comment.

    • Mel said

      Get over it??? My young child, who is learning to read & reads out everything she sees, read out the word cock! Not sure how you would choose to raise children but I certainly don’t want to have to explain this word to a 6 year old & why it’s on the side of a van that everyone can see!

      • Sue said

        Innocent? Would you think that if your five year old saw it?

      • Bruce Banner said

        Don’t want to explain the real world to your children? Poor darling..

      • Tintin said

        Bruce, do you actually have children? It’s easy to say that adults should just share everything with children, but in fact children get really overloaded and overwhelmed with big adult concepts. Too much information affects their freedom, and introducing highly sexualised concepts to them, makes them self conscious – have you never seen a child cringe even if adults kiss? They can lose the freedom of childhood and start to check their behaviour, or act out in over sexualised ways. Not to mention if a child has been abused, some of these messages run the risk of triggering or reaffirming the trauma. It’s actually really ignorant of you to say ‘Don’t want to explain the real world to your children?’ And actually is this the real world? It’s not.

      • And if it *is* the real world then all the more reason to shout out and change it, wouldn’t you say?
        When people are warm and snug in their misogynistic blankets, they don’t want to let go of it.

    • potedude said

      It’s not just ladies, as a male I find some of these offensive too and most certainly don’t want my kids seeing them. Do I have to get over it too?

    • BendigoJen said

      Typical – your fourth word tells it all, Graham. MYSOGYNIST!
      A real man would defend women and their rights.

      • Tony Cox said

        Although to be fair, if he’d said “Get over it, women” it would have sounded even worse! (Or not? Don’t want to make a faux pas here – I’m on your side! 🙂 This stuff is too crass for words.)

      • I get you. Yes, it’s all rather gutter and invading our public space. John Webb has no integrity. Did you read the latest Press Release from him? Dripping in contempt.

    • Kate said

      Thanks Graham – your life must just be SO busy that you can’t worry about such petty things as mysogyny, kindness, innocence and decency. What a condescending comment you have made. The women heading this campaign are trying to improve our society – don’t belittle them. But then I guess you’re used to belittling women. Hard habit to break and you probably feel threatened when people stand up to others (i.e. Wicked campers) when they like to belittle too. Does it threaten you that women don’t have to and won’t take that kind of garbage anymore. You try and shame us into inactivity. So sad for you.

    • Melissa.E. said

      I think what the main concern is, many children are reading this.
      As a parent, it is outrageous for it to be visible to them!
      Also having to explain it???
      Young adolescent boy’s & girls may take it serious & act on it.
      Not all kid’s are mature & see a sarcastic joke.
      There are many kid’s with learning disabilities. That don’t understand from right or wrong. No matter how old they are.
      Just saying – From a Parent’s Point of view.
      It was a FATHER who started this petition.
      But yet you address your ignorance towards females!

      • No, Melissa, it wasn’t a father who started the petition it was me.
        I agree, however, that Graham is still being ignorant and sexist driving his comment towards females. If he were to look at the comments from six months ago, I even had a soldier of Australia share the letter he wrote to John Webb. Lots of male support.
        Thank you for your comment of support.

    • Given Wicked Campers have invited & given permission for those who don’t like their slogans to paint over them, is this actually legal? If not.. could their not be a public campaign and reaction to do exactly that. If enough people spay painted over enough vans for long enough surely that would make a stronger statement AND eventually make it so financially costly that Wicked Campers would be forced to remove such sickening slogans?!

  6. Steve Sense said

    First World Issue perhaps? Energy could be directed towards more worthy enemies maybe, yeah? Who cares about small grotty vehicle hirers and their dodgy slogans? The artistry is quite good, to be honest. Get angry and tackle something more serious, real moral threats, not resort to shooting easy fish in that tiny barrel you’ve discovered.

    • A predictable response, Steve, which actually argues that what? Until World Hunger is sorted by me or that I return the girls from Nigeria, I should ignore a company that is continually being complained about, have been deemed, by an official body, to have crossed Community Stamdards? They made a promise to take down CERTAIN slogans (not all) but instead completely gave everyone the bird by not following through. This is about integrity now. This company has none – now that we’ve seen how they truly operate and somehow they have your respect?
      Agreed, their artistry can be really fantastic when it’s not infringing on copyright or dripping in hyper-sexualisation.
      Well, no thanks – I’m not letting this rest. Wicked Campers affected my family directly and when that happens, I speak up and stand up for them.
      Thank you for the cliché. It always makes me smile.

    • Julia said

      Its very disappointing and disturbing to see the only dissenting voices are from men. Time to wake up guys…its not clever or innocent and it is important.

      • Sue said

        You obviously don’t have young children, Steve.
        And anyway, who says issues are mutually exclusive? I can donate to Third World causes and still find these vans totally inappropriate on public streets

      • Real Man said

        I’m with you Julia. I AM A BLOKE and am disgusted with this company’s utter disdain for the sensitivities of others and the total disrespect for women. I am NOT a prude but , wicked, I really feel you need to get your hand off it and grow up by making a positive contribution to our society. Notice I used a small w in wicked which I would be glad to upgrade to a capital when you GROW UP. Believe me I would love to take to you vans with a spray can but I refuse to get down in the sewer with you

    • Me said

      Artistry is quite good? I just vomited in my mouth. Should have gone to specsavers. I could only imagine what the inside of these atrocious vehicles look like…….

  7. Frank Collins said

    Why go to the easy way out of painting over these disgusting messages………a flame thrower would work just as well!! Especially if Mr Webb was driving it at the time.

    • I feel very strongly about this issue too, Frank, but I don’t wish any harm to John Webb or anyone from Wicked Campers.
      They have taken the piss, though, and understand your frustration.

  8. caitlin said

    I bet the Wiggle would have something to say, and maybe some legal action, to sue Wicked for using their likeness and mangled logo! Has anyone sent it to them? They’re wealthy enough, maybe they’ll put some support in?

    • Yes. I did on a few of their social media pages but haven’t heard back. I will do something more official this week aling with a lot of other letters to many groups regarding this comoany.
      Thanks 🙂

  9. N said

    I was also thinking the same thing of the LEGO corporation !!! Their products are aimed at the child market it would be great it they sued wicked campers for copyright infringement and child endangerment

  10. Why does your page have naked gymnasts surrounding your blog posts?

  11. We met some young women who were driving “Can your pussy do the dog” and they were mortified by it. Being from OS they had no choice but to take the van. A bit of skillful art changed it to “Can Your Puppy Do The Dog” :o)

    But what about the graffiti on the inside of these vans? Pretty disgusting too, and encouraged by WIcked.

    • That’s a common story that I’ve heard. Sadly.
      I wasn’t even aware there was graffiti on the inside…if the outside is any indicator; I shudder to imagine.
      Thanks for your comment.

  12. BD said

    I agree with what you are saying with Wicked Campers, I have some photos of my own. I got stuck behind one with my 13 year old daughter for about 60km. “Save a Lollipop, Eat a Dick” no good!!

    I do however think you need to get rid of naked gymnasts on your blog while you are running this campaign at least or you are gonna cop some flack. For me its no problem but there WILL be those who call it hypocritical among other things.(Art and Humour seem to always be offensive to someone!)

    • Thanks for your suggestion.
      My blog is predominantly about the attainment of balance and this image is a pure symbol of it – with the female demonstrating amazing strength. I think it’s beautiful.
      When did you see that slogan? Was it over the last six months?

      • g2-6e4a85dbe98867a7b006f19be25560f7 said

        well, as you think it is beautiful, others don’t. My seven year old walked in and asked if I was looking at porn. That affects my family directly and warrants saying something to you about it. If you choose to ignore it, and its been mentioned more than once, so be it but I think it takes some strength out of your current mission. Your comment is dismissive at best.

        Date of photo was March 2014 so, no, not in last 6 months.

      • I’m SO sorry that happened. You have every right to mention it as it DID affect your family directly and is something I always consider very important to do. I hate that you can’t hear tone when reading, but in no way was I dismissing your suggestion – I was merely saying that I think it’s a beautiful image that represents purely what I – and my blog – are about. I don’t see anything sexual in this image – but hear what you’re saying.
        Thanks for responding and I apologise for any confusion.
        Paula

  13. Keep up the good work. I am already too busy on my stuff (cycling activism) to lend a hand, but very happy to sign a petition, add comments to a FB page and so on.

    John

  14. Ursula said

    Thank you for keeping at it – I sure hope our persistence will pay off in the end and we’ll be all freed off this sexist filth.

  15. Patrick said

    I totally agree and support your campaign 110%. However, please consider this – your own website background reflects insensitivity and would be something I would not like my grandchildren to see as I would consider this to be evocative enough be considered ‘soft porn’.

    • This image has been a part of my blog from the beginning because my main point of activism is to attain balance in our lives.
      i felt this image was a beautiful and inspiring one – showing the incredible strength of the female holding the weight of the male – attaining perfect balance together. There is nothing sexual (in my eyes) whatsoever in it except that they are a male and female without clothing.
      I imagine a pair of undies would ruin such a stunning image.
      You are the second person to mention it – and as much as I don’t want to confuse people – I love this representation of balance wholeheartedly,
      What part do you see as soft porn?

      • Sue said

        I agree with John and a number of others: you’re sending mixed messages.

      • Even with my explanation of it?
        Thanks for commenting.

      • Ridiculous that anyone would conflate nudity with porn. It’s a beautiful image with nothing sexual in it at all, don’t change it! (Thank you so much for this campaign, by the way. I will be writing many angry letters!)

      • I’ll change it back later – but a few people have found it uncomfortable to open the page at work and I appreciate that at first glance it may look like something else.
        It IS a beautiful image and love what it represents to me.
        Thank you for understanding. Paula x

    • Sue said

      Glad you changed the image. But unfortunately you still seem not to get it: “first glance” is all you get; you rarely have the opportunity to explain or justify yourself.
      Anyway, surely it’s obvious that all this opposition/support/justification is a major distraction from the issue you are trying to publicise.
      Please don’t change it back.

      • There have only been three comments out of over 5,000 views of this page over the last day and a half. I have been nothing but accommodating in changing an image that has been up for three years and resonates with me and my *personal* blog. Whether I change it back or not is really a personal choice for me to make.
        What do you mean – I don’t get it? What’s wrong with this image? It’s Wonder Woman.

      • Millie said

        I think you were quite rude and condescending. I guess naked gymnasts must be a major distraction to the issue of violent, misogynistic camper vans for three people to comment negatively on it. It seemed like a pretty easy to explanation to those who wanted one, and anyone who can’t be bothered to read past the first glance or ask what someone is looking at, it has already been changed for them. It’s not your business if it’s changed back at a later date. Sorry Paula for piping in around 3 months later to an issue you’ve already dealt with respectfully and firmly, I just wanted to let you know I’d be happy to see your former background return when wicked camper vans answer for their ugly hateful trash-cars.

      • Thanks Millie – I’ve grown quite fond of Wonder Woman for now, so it’s all good 😀 x

  16. Ariane said

    This is just appalling and disgusting, how are these slogans not banned from our community yet? it should be illegal, it’s R rated and derogatory. It’s so sad to see this.

  17. Sarah McLoughlin said

    Creepy Campers should be taken off the road. Why are there no laws against these slogans?

    • Good question. It falls under Freedom of Speech – so it’s more about having them held accountable to take down any signs deemed inappropriate by the ASB.
      Working on it.

  18. Chris said

    It is a reflection of the tired, worn out product, don’t buy it.

    • But people do – unfortunately for the rest of us that then have their corrupt ideology shoved in our faces.
      We have to go further than the ‘don’t buy it’ argument as it’s had no effect over the last six months despite the outcry against them.
      Thanks for your comment, Chris.

  19. Dave Smith said

    Hi gals. I gotta say, I might be a blokey bloke, but this just makes me sick to the stomach. I’m no prude, I’ve told many a poor-taste joke in the past, but as I’ve grown up I’ve hopefully got a bit wiser and a bit more caring. Having this smut (let’s face it, it’s bar-room humour at best) pasted on vans running all around our cities is in VERY poor taste. I’d hate to have my four-year-old granddaughter ask “What’s that say, Pop?” followed by “but what does it mean, Pop?”… John Web and his friends may indeed get the giggles every time they think up one of these gutter slogans, but they should, when running a business, err on the side of decency when it comes to actually deciding what to put on public display to represent their company. I for one, will NEVER hire from them nor recommend thems to anyone.

    • Mandy said

      Even worse when your kids can actually read it! We were behind one on the highway through Geelong. We could only see the top which said “a blowjob” the Hilarious punch line, we couldn’t see. Anyway, my ten year old was reading it and asking. He was being cheeky though, as I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know exactly what it was, he knows it is something sexual. My five year old was repeating it and they were both laughing. Something I just didn’t want to deal with after a long drive coming back from holidays. It’s just disgusting having this shoved in our faces which is why I signed the first petition. I only saw this van on 18th and actually wondered why as I knew the campaign against them was a success. They are just gross. Is there any way to target the unsuspecting OS traveller?

      On that note, we are near a Big 4 which is popular with the young back packer being the closest park to the CBD. I used to see Wicked vans all the time and have not seen one in the last few months. Maybe business isn’t as good?

      • That’s the EXACT problem with these slogans, Mandy, and can imagine how frustrating it must have been to have your kids repeating the word and laughing.
        I was informed that there was a camping site that refused entry to someone with a Wicked Van. It is another avenue to tackle. If word gets around to backpackers that life is more difficult with a Wicked Camper Van, then that may affect business.
        Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Jo said

      Well said Dave.

  20. Adrian Castro said

    I am with you on this one! This is just too much.

  21. jodi anne said

    Vulgar pig ! how embarrassing !

  22. April said

    In addition to the others’ comments about contacting The Wiggles and Lego, perhaps also contacting Mattel in regards to “Barbie is a slut” slogan…

  23. I saw one of these vans whilst holidaying with my four children at Wilsons Prom over the 2015 Christmas school holidays. My 2 eldest sons 17 and 15 years were appalled and thought them misogynist, my daughter 11 years felt disgusted, fortunately my 7 year old didn’t understand. I signed the last petition to stop these offensive slogans on these vans. When I saw the van last week, I realised that Wicked company owner had no intentions to remove the slogans, it was purely something he said to appease us. I will pass the word to European relatives,friends and likewise not to hire these vans. I come from a very extensive European back ground and family, this is the only way we can stop this company by removing their customer base.

  24. Adrian said

    Good service, a good product and fair prices used to ensure a successful business. What does this company lack, that they have to advertise like this?

  25. Michelle said

    Very disappointing, but not surprising. These vans make me shudder. A man who endorses this trash clearly has a false and over flated sense of entitlement. And so, the further he has to fall.
    Thank you for taking John Webb on and for continuing to stand up for what is right. This man needs to be held accountable.
    The people, together, are strong.

  26. barbfisher said

    Good on you for pursuing this. I don’t even live in Australia at present, but it makes my blood boil! How is this even allowed? I would be mortified trying to explain this to my 7 year old daughter, she’s just at the age when she’s trying to understand what is socially acceptable and what isn’t. I guess this would teach her there really are some unsavoury people in the world, and not to be one of them.

    • Agreed. We can’t cotton-wool our kids about the world because it is frankly IMPOSSIBLE – especially nowadays – but there must be a line.
      Thank you, Barb.

      • Honora said

        I’m wondering if we could say to our children, we’ll ask the man who owns these vans, shall we? And then the child can write a letter to him asking him what it means, so he gets a bit of insight into the impact he’s having on children and their families.

  27. Chris said

    I live in a tourist area with lots of these vans, wrote this letter to our local council today, may give others ideas… https://www.dropbox.com/s/fn61dypvsqaaks4/Wicked%20Vans%20Letter.pdf?dl=0

    • Becky said

      its tempting to buy loads of spray paint & constantly cover up the filth…surely they will get sick of re-painting ?

    • Dee said

      Thanks Chris, for a well-written letter. I will be using it to send to my local council as well.

      I was wondering whether letters should be sent to the caravan parks as well?

      Thanks for pushing this petition; it is SO necessary.

    • I can’t open it at work, for some reason, but it’s fantastic you wrote a letter. Awesome stuff. Thanks, Chris.

  28. Garry McPake said

    Get off the road.

  29. Jim said

    I saw the Wiggles one a few weeks ago but only briefly and did not see the drug reference but since it was in Sydney’s inner west (where a couple of the Wiggles have resided) I wondered if they would take action about this one. I have too small children and don’t want them having to read this sort of stuff while I am out driving them around. Again if you need signatures or passing this on to others when you are ready to take action I am happy to join in. Keep up the good work.

  30. Fiona said

    How and why are travellers paying to ride around in these vans? Money talks. They should walk! Boycott by consumers would work pretty effectively!!! I would absolutely refuse to pay to rent one of these disgusting artless vehicles

    • Fiona said

      I would also wholeheartedly agree that bringing this down with whatever legal remedies are available to us as a society is definitely the next step. I mean, honestly? Really? Who do they think they are?

    • Unfortunately, people have continued to rent their vans since the original campaign – but they are generally backpackers, so that’s another avenue to tackle.

  31. Dame Margaret said

    I’m going out right away to buy myself a can of black spray paint!

  32. Matt said

    Hey there, just checked your website update as the email from Change.org came in. Have to agree that there is a problem with your own website’s background. I happened to check it at work and can easily say that regardless of the artistic nature of it, it works against your cause in this instance. I appreciate art and that it works with the theme of your website. But if that is the only image in the world you can find to represent balance and it happens to contain two unclothed bodies clutching each other I think you’re hurting your own cause.

    People judge. And the campaign is based on judgement that the slogans are offensive to some and not in the interests of public good. I’m good with that, I agree. I find some funny, but the context of a public place makes them unacceptable for gracing the outside of a vehicle driving the streets.

    People will judge based off of knee jerk reactions and first impressions. My first reaction when following up on your campaign by visiting this website was eh? Why am I seeing naked people on this website? I thought this was about shutting down publicly explicit phrases and all I can see is two naked bodies multiplied across my widescreen about 20 times. And I’m at work. I thought it might take 1-2 minutes to get a quick update.

    In the web world you have a matter of seconds before people judge your website. Visual representations ranks up there in terms of how those judgements are made. You don’t get to dictate to people whether the image should be considered artistic or not. That happens before they read a word of your update.

    Take my advice and the others that have pointed out the discrepancy in your choice of background. Find another image. You don’t want to give anyone the opportunity to discredit the campaign based off of a poor background choice on your website. Yes it has artistic measure. No I’m not offended by it. But in my opinion you are clouding your message by having it there, especially when there are millions of images you could choose from that wouldn’t have that same effect.

    The fact that I enlarged your website on my screen so that your background image wouldn’t cause any offense to my co-workers should give you enough indication that it needs changing. I know they’ll judge what I’m looking at based off of that image. It’s unlikely they’ll take the time to read that it has anything to do with a worthy campaign to remove inappropriate slogans off of vans…I’d wager I’m not the only person who will have the opportunity to check the update from work either.

    • Thanks Matt – and all the rest for your suggestions. I hope this image works better.
      Paula

    • fiona said

      perfectly said matt. a powerful campaign shouldn’t confuse people on first glance and water down its message. and fantastic campaign paula. many of us have thought about doing something but you have actioned that and created a groundswell. off to write my letters x

      • Yes, Matt’s comment made me see how the image can be confusing – esp. at work or with young ones around.
        The image has been a part of my blog for three years and does encapsulate everything I stand for – balance + male and female + nature. I can see, though, that with some people nudity = porn but that theory ultimately is unbalanced. There is nothing sexual in the image in terms of the male and female relating to each other sexually – they are merely using their bodies as instruments to create a powerful image.
        I have changed it, though, as I see where some people are coming from. In my last campaign, however, I similarly had about three comments made, but that post was viewed nearly 340,000 times.
        Sorry about carrying on – I had a bit of time to explain how it resonates with me. Haha!
        Thank you for your great support, Fiona. I’ve had a few people write letters and let me know they have – it’s so wonderful. x

  33. Phil Scott said

    Keep up the good work. It is appalling gutter advertising

  34. Dave Smith said

    BTW surely there’s a tourism minister who could jump on the bandwagon… pun unintended!

  35. J Forest said

    I am so glad you are continuing this campaign. The slogans are not funny. I openly discuss any questions my children have about sex, sexuality, drugs or slang words they may have heard. I do not find the images of the gymnasts at all pornographic and would have no issue with my kids seeing them at any age. HOWEVER many of the wicked campers are seriously offensive and there is no way to explain them to my children other than to say that there are some people in this world that think it is funny to make jokes about hurting and abusing others. The fact that they are purposely incorporating images associated with childhood, in a sexual way goes beyond misogyny and makes you wonder if the owner of the company or his employees are purposely trying to sexualise children and support child abuse.

  36. Ian said

    ‘wicked campers” are like dirty old perverts who sit on the toilet with their sleaze mags.

  37. John Solomon said

    I just don’t understand the mentality of those that hire these vans.Is it the rebellion factor or are the slogans found to be humerous? God help us.Sure enough these holders of limited grey matter will see,some time in the future,just how disgusting and degrading these vehicle slogans are.One can only hope that the owner of said vans fulfills his obligations.

  38. Kristin said

    Thanks so much for raising this, and persisting with it. I find them incredibly offensive, it is so shocking that our kids are exposed to this. I’m so glad this is being pursued. Let me know if I can help.

  39. Kristin said

    A suggestion: have you sent the Wiggles image to them? Pretty sure they will shut that one down pretty quick, and you might well be able to get them to be public advocates for this cause more generally.
    Kind regards,
    Kirstin

  40. Sophie said

    Sorry, not sure if someone has told you yet or not but one of your photos is listed as being October 2015. Unless you can time travel you need to change that.

    Thank you for pointing out that these guys are still being horrible. I am so disgusted and am signing the petition again.

  41. Tiff said

    Hi Paula,

    I am saddened to hear that this business has not kept their word, however not surprised because morality and high ethical standards is obviously not one of their strengths! I have seen some campers with questionable images/slogans, but the ones you have posted are completely unacceptable for public spaces.

    When our children see these things before they are mature enough to appropriately understand it subtly changes the way they interact with the opposite sex and perpetuates the issues.

    I would like to thank you for your very fair comments in response to the pushback you are receiving from some who don’t appear to appreciate how deeply these issues affect our society and its demoralising and disrespectful views of women. Your responses appear to shut down any escalation that takes the focus off of the issue at hand. Thank you for thinking and responding maturely.

    One thought – since the owner of Wicked Campers has stated publicly that it is ok for us to cover any offending art/slogans with spray paint, perhaps we should all take up our spray cans on a designated weekend and take him up on his offer? I would never condone such a thing without permission, but since it has been given …

  42. Jess said

    It’s funny, I can only imagine that if I spray painted obscenities all over my car, the police would pull me over and defect my car (at the very least).

    Years ago, a friend and I were planning to do a big Aussie road trip and when I mentioned Wicked, she said that apparently the vans themselves are in terrible shape. This seems to be well known by Aussie travellers, but informing potential overseas travellers could be much harder, especially considering the price difference between a Wicked camper and the nicer, slogan free vans. Maybe someone needs to give leaflets to likely looking backpackers at the airport!

    These slogans are pathetic, really. Of the infinite number of clever images and phrases that could be sprayed on these vans, they go for the lowest common denominator. Doesn’t say much for what they think of their clientele. Someone mentioned earlier that the spray work was very good, which makes it even more wasteful! If you have a talented artist on staff, get them to paint something awesome, not something boring and offensive.

    I’m 25 and find these slogans and images just as offensive as everyone here. I think a comment made earlier that it’s “young people” who find this funny is incorrect, especially as the commenters suggesting that everyone gets a life and that the slogans are funny are almost certainly older men.

    Good luck, and let me know if I can help!

    • Thank you so much, Jess. Will do.
      Backpackers are also on the list of targets to inform them.
      I can’t comment on the road-reliability of these vans as I have only seen reports from a few years ago.

  43. I Macdonnell said

    It’ll only happen if WE do the paint-overs for them.
    Not socially acceptable? Not lawful? Who in the public system seems to be caring, or doing anything meaningful, about those “ethics” anyway concerning these obnoxious, dirty twits. Any good civil liberty, community lawyer, doing a freebee, would make that argument look real stupid! And would get press coverage – and public sympathy! That’s if John Webb has such low life double standards to take it to court.. and the fool has obviously.

  44. Mel said

    These photos made me shudder. Gross and totally inappropriate to be out in public – I’d be horrified if I hired a van and turned up to find one of these. Good luck with getting these abominations off the road.

  45. Max said

    I believe Mister Wicked is thanking you very much for the media exposure that you should not be giving him.

    • That happened 6 months ago and he delivered a false promise to take the heat off.
      That wasn’t heat, though – what’s coming next will be.

      • Dave Smith said

        Really Max, I don’t know anyone who would hire from John Webb after THIS exposure, or after seeing the cr@p on his vans. The only ones who he seems to hook are the unsuspecting tourists (mostly backpackers on a budget?) who turn up, see the smut but probably have no recourse. They’ve likely already paid for it! I’m sure that this exposure won’t help his business!

  46. Therese said

    can u set up one of those online petitions? I would like to show support for this being made illegal but don’t know how or maybe a site where we can all write to the accc or whoever the relevant authority is?

  47. Wendy said

    I saw the van with the slogan about ‘My cock just died’ heading south out of Cairns late last year. truly disgusting vans, shouldn’t be allowed.

  48. Angie said

    Mostly I,m broadminded but this stuff is over the top misogyny! where,s the Anti Discrimination legislation stand on this? There should be a court order?

    • Tim Wilson, the Human Rights Commissioner, said it was free speech when this company was brought up in the Senate last year. Changing legislation is what I’m working on.
      Thanks, Angie.

  49. Jim Lord said

    Thank you for keeping on with this, I’d love to see some action on limiting offensive outdoor advertising and slogans. Those vans truly are sleazy – and I love ribald humour – just not out in the streets like that.

  50. Isobel said

    Actually saw one of these yesterday that read “women fake orgasms because they think men care”. Definitely not the erasure of offensive material at all.

  51. Max said

    If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou

    Maybe the people who use the campers, all over the world and not just backpackers in Australia have broad minds.

    If one is concerned with what our children can and can’t see, then burn the books and destroy the web.

    • Dee said

      Does having a “broad mind” actually mean more shallow than broad?

      I fear, Max, that you have missed the point. It’s not just the message that they have put out there but the fact that they have not given us a choice of whether or read it or not.

      Free speech comes with much responsibility. Wicked Campers are not being responsible in any way, shape or form, broad-minded or not.

  52. LD VicAus said

    There are some great suggestions here of how to take the next stage. I love ideas of letting the people who are using them know what the double entendres mean, of the condition of the vans, of letting people straight off the plane know. I love that a van was turned away from a park (not for the campers, but for the company). How about a grass roots campaign for people to contact their holiday camp grounds etc. to ask them their stance on the vans (I’m on to mine later today). I know my regular park has a family friendly policy, I just read it a week ago, surely the vans go against most decent holiday park policies. Handwritten notes pinned on public notice boards and information boards by locals condemning the company could be good too (also a project I’m up for). Local tourist and information centres could also be contacted and for someone really keen a website started up to catch people at search engines searching for Wicked Campers and explaining the slogans and concerns of Australians and others, could be helpful too. And I love the idea of an organised event where we go out en masse to paint over all these disgusting slogans. If we all did it, again and again it’d surely begin to get expensive for them to repaint.

  53. Roland said

    I think there is a time and place for much of the content, but certainly not displayed in Public where it is offensive to many. Painted on vehicles like this is really wrong in my opinion.

  54. This campaign is really important – the slogans on these vans illustrate the all too frequent trivialisation and minimisation of violence against women. The recently release survey on the Australian Community Attitudes to Violence Against Women (NCAS) shows that a culture of denial exists in Australia. More than one in three people believe that women make up false claims of rape and there has been a significant increase in Australians who excuse and explain rape by believing it results from men not being able to control their need for sex. I’ve written about this in The Conversation and the data might assist with this campaign: “Australians still trivialise and excuse violence against women” http://theconversation.com/australians-still-trivialise-and-excuse-violence-against-women-31420

  55. Bob Cameron said

    Hi Paula
    I just want to add my voice to the other males who find these vans thoroughly offensive. Regardless of what people view as funny or appropriate in private, that such slogans should be displayed on vehicles that are on view for anyone and everyone to see just beggars belief. I will certainly support any efforts towards legislative change. As for free speech, that’s a huge furphy. Free speech is important, but we should no more be able to assault people verbally than we are allowed to do so physically. Keep up the good work.
    Bob

  56. We’ve just had three weeks traveling in Tasmania and noticed that a lot of the Wicked vehicles have changed. They had a lot of small cars with roof top tents and all the slogans were about peace and love, just something small on the door of the vehicle. We only saw two vans in the original design – one was offensive, one had Spider-Man on it. I’m sad to see that so many are still showing the repulsive slogans when it looked like they had actually made an effort. Keep up the good work Paula.

  57. tojasonharris said

    Thank you for continuing to make this an issue.

  58. Bev Plaizier said

    I certainly would like to see these offensive slogans off our streets.
    Imagine our grandchildren asking questions at an early age when
    they saw the lego slogan!! It is quite beyond belief that they have degraded women and taken the innocence of children in their own hands. Perhaps Lego might have a comment to make!!!
    Keep up the good work. We will continue to support you.
    Bev and Tom

  59. Monte said

    Show Anonymous this page. I’m sure they’ll DDOS them to oblivion!

    • I’m going to go through more conventional means at this point. Anonymous don’t always hit the mark with their activism.
      Thanks, though.

      • Monte said

        Fair enough.

        Playing Devil’s advocate for a moment…

        Scale issues aside, what’s the difference between these slogans and the racy bumper-stickers that have been available for eons?

        If Wicked were to restore their vans to monochromatic paint schemes but cover them with such stickers, would that also be an issue?

  60. Eleanor said

    As a grandmother of 11 children, I often have small children in my car and would be appalled to have to explain a lot of these degrading, sexist comments flagrantly posted on these truly wicked vans, to children who are learning to read each signpost and advertising board they see. Please continue your campaign to rid our roads of these offensive and appalling slogans, you have the backing of many ordinary Aussie people who believe in freedom of speech, but not in freedom of spreading filth. I will be bringing this campaign to the attention of people in my club (around 70 ladies) in my craft group (another 10) & in my partner’s club (about 100 members plus their partners). If others can spread this by word of mouth, you should be able to get a great following going. Many of us have a solid social hub that could be tapped into.
    Would it be possible to put these images on Youtube with an explanation for those overseas travellers who may be thinking of hiring a “nasty” van without really knowing what they are getting in advance? If Wicked can have freedom of speech , surely those who hate this kind of exploitation can also air their wrath at these purveyors of smut in a public forum.
    I feel the idea of approaching the companies whose advertising is being bastardised and approaching the Wiggles, is liable to bear fruit – they surely would be appalled to have their copyright images treated in this fashion.
    Good luck, I will follow this campaign with great interest.

    • Thank you, Eleanor ! I will definitely be keeping everyone posted.
      YouTube is full of trolls who are more likely the kind to hire the vans but I’m going to target some backpacker sites to alert them to the types of slogans WC vans have.
      Thanks again – get those ladies riled up ! 😛

  61. Aniko said

    I agree that I don’t find these funny. I live in the Byron Bay area and often went up to the Gold Coast with my kids and these vans often offended me. I often had to cringe and explain them to my girls (who were young teenagers at the time) who were appalled when I explained some of the nuances. They asked – I felt I had to explain. I really think they are offensive and women hating and I cringe inside and feel sick when I see them. I hate to think what mixed messages it sends to young men and women. I may start taking a black spray can in my car next time I’m near BB coz if I see one of those offensive slogans again – I will cover them up. I support your campaign. Its not trite.

  62. Gill Wedding said

    What can we do to stop this offensive rubbish? What if we flood his social media with requests to remove the messages? Or send emails or phone his business?

    • My campaign 6 months ago forced them into declaring they would clean up their act due to the massive outcry and negative attention they received. They did not do what they said so I’m looking into legal avenues to have the slogans removed.
      Stay tuned. I’ll be communicating the next step soon.
      Thanks Gill.

  63. Kerry Tolson said

    Wow! It’s almost as if the company has amped up the obscenity even further since the July comment as a ‘want to complain, I’ll give you something to complain about!’ …. I can’t believe anyone would even want to be seen driving around in these vehicles. I’m speachless, but outraged, so I too won’t be staying silent either.

  64. Sophia said

    Wow this guy has some weird underlying hatred for woman that he wants to get out there. Creepy in this day and age.

  65. Keep up the good work. You have my full support and my signature when needed. It would be good if these idiots could be hit in the back pocket somehow.

  66. Muzz said

    There are funny slogans and there are funny slogans, they are simply pathetic, It shows the quality of people that drive these things as well, I’m not a prude & swear like the masses tho find this so called “Art Work” disgusting to say the least, Keep this kinda crap for your back yard parties, If there is room there with out having to trip over old car bodies.. Grow up you clowns & do business with some decency & make an honest living like the rest of us.

  67. Mizz said

    A can of paint stripper and a brush should convey the message nicely I would think

  68. Josephine said

    I totally agree that these slogans really go too far. I live in France, but came to Australia in 2004 to study in Canberra for a semester. After, I did what many tourists do, I travelled across the country for a couple of months in a campervan. A wicked van to be exact, cos they were simply the only one I could afford as a student. I still remember when they showed me the first van, it had mentioned “neuken in de keuken” on the back, which means in dutch “fucking in the kitchen”. The ridiculous remark certain dutch people learn to foreigners when they ask to teach them a phrase. Being dutch, it was just impossible for me to take that van. I refused, and after some angry discussions they finally agreed giving me another van, with just “wicked” written on the outside. This van was in such a poor state that after one week travelling they had to take it back, giving us an upgrade, with again a simple “wicked” written on the side. So you should perhaps also make it known to travellers that they can say no to the slogans.. They gave me another van because I complained, so I guess they don’t want to lose out on the money and if enough travellers say no, there’s little reason to continue with these stupid, nasty remarks on the vans. How to reach the clients I wouldn’t know like that, but there are surely ways to connect. Tripadvisor, facebook, that sort of pages? Informing the tourist centers ?

    • Thank you for your story, Josephine – that’s great to know.
      Yes, some backpacker camping locations are going to be targeted to communicate information about this business and its practices.
      Thanks again.

  69. Rachel Bolter said

    Thanks for your work. My husband and I totally support you. This does matter. All change happens at home first, in our own communities. We all don’t want to see women demeaned, there is so much of it all over the world. Time for change, long over due.

  70. Jo said

    A worthy cause; my stance does not come from having to explain to children the meaning of the slogans, but from a stance of being sick and tired of having female sexist comments and images becoming more and more acceptable in our communities and societies. Acceptance breeds tolerance and desensitivity. Even if people think the slogans are ok, where is your respect for fellow human beings who are offended and feel disrespected by this? Where is your sense of equality for women? And why on earth do you defend outrageous and obviously degrading, derrogatory, false, hurtful. harmful images and slogans? For those commenters who advise supporters of this cause to fight for a more worthy cause…I say to you, don’t tell me what’s worthy and what’s not! Go and fight your own causes and battles and leave us to fight this, show some support to those who show commitment to somethinhng which resonates deeply in their heart and congratulate them for taking action.

  71. Elizabeth said

    I am so glad to see these many comments that reveal others feel the same as me. . . you really do begin to wonder if you’re paranoid about sexism sometimes. I can tell you this: when I was growing up in the 60s/70s we never saw degrading stuff on TV or bumpers or billboards. Slowly, slowly it has crept in over the ensuing years to the point where we are being bombarded everywhere we look. The female body is used constantly to sell cars, booze, fast food, websites, TV shows or anything else people can think of. Personally I think it is a form of suppression and it makes me very, very angry.
    WC have taken their advertising to nasty and offensive extremes and deserve to be shut down, end of story. When perpetrators of such muck are questioned they inevitably say something like “we are only reflecting public attitudes” or “it’s a free country”. What a thin old argument that is.
    I think this is a very SIGNIFICANT campaign because if it can be taken into the realm of legal challenge and change of legislation, a great service will done to the Australian community. This is grass roots, where it starts, with people power showing that community standards MATTER and people must be listened to. Most folks don’t want this garbage anywhere in their lives. And we (and our children) shouldn’t have to put up with it.

    • Wow, Elizabeth. Thank you.
      Your words deeply resonate with me. We think very alike.
      I think this is VERY significant campaign because the slogans were part one but now they’ve added a lack of integrity and gutter business practices to the mix. Why people jump to their defense is beyond me? As if WC would ever show any of them loyalty.
      Thank you so much for your comment. x

  72. Elizabeth said

    It was completely my pleasure. I hope this action/campaign of yours is the beginning of something bigger and ongoing. As Gough Whitlam famously said, “It’s time”.

  73. Nat Jones said

    I have to admit, I do find some of these funny… But now having my own kids + nieces and nephews, it’s not really appropriate once children can READ! I think as adults we can forget that… Something to think about I suppose… ☺

  74. Dee said

    Hi

    Do you have a link to a new petition? I would like to share with friends to sign.
    (I would also like to pinterest it.)

    Thanks
    Dee

    • I’m working on it and should hopefully be good to go next week. If you’re following this blog, I’ll be posting it here + will also link it on my Questions for Us FB page – if that’s more your cuppa.
      Thanks so much for your support, Dee. x

      • Dave Smith said

        Hi Paula. I commented way up further, but now (24/02/2015) I have just seen yet another horrid example from this weasel John Webb, in Port Adelaide of all places! I’d like to send you the pic I took of it, but can’t find a ‘contact’ or email address. I gather you can contact me privately or something? Maybe inbox my facebook page. I was going to post it there but that won’t be near as effective as forwarding it to you, and please feel free to use it any way you can. I can’t believe he hasn’t addressed this issue yet… You can delete this comment if you wish, it doesn’t add much that hasn’t already been said.

      • Hey Dave. I’d love to see the photo. I have a ‘Questions for Us’ FB page – you can send it there if you like.
        Thanks heaps. 🙂

  75. Christine said

    Paula, sorry if someone has already suggested this, have you thought about contacting Lego, Mattel (Barbie) and the Wiggles – I am positive that there would be some copyright infringements…love that fact that you’re working on changing the law, but maybe a two pronged attack – who knows, maybe the big companies will be incensed too and sue them…out of business! Keep up the great work!

  76. Martin said

    OK..Just read this article…it’s right on the money. This morning I followed one of these campers from Anglesea to Belbrae (slogan “A Blowjob a day beeats an Apple”). If it wasn’t school holidays, I would have been with my 9 and 11 year old daughters in the car on the way to school….I don’t understand the appeal of slogan’s that are only funny to adolescent boys. Are Adolescent boys hiring these Vans?…..anyway, it’s now April…they obviously have no intention of keeping their word about removing the slogans…

  77. Jo said

    Please please keep me informed of any further actions/petitions that can be done by the general public (as hopefully now you have my email address). I am appalled and disgusted by this to say the least. Well done in your efforts so far – and thank you!!

    • Thanks Jo! No more petitions, though. That ship has sailed. 😛
      I will keep everyone informed through here and on my FB Questions for Us page (I do a lot more ‘conversing’ there.
      I have not given up yet and am currently organising to meet with a Federal MP soon. It’s a slow process, though, and one that may ultimately come to a dead end. We’ll see.
      Thank you so much for your support. 🙂 x

  78. Lucas said

    Have you tried taking this issue to the big companies (Mattel, Lego, The Wiggles) to fight on a copyright violation basis? I’m pretty sure they would be furious to see what Wicked has done to their much loved brands, and would be amenable to take legal action on those grounds.

    • Yes, I have. They thanked me for contacting them but unfortunately never heard back from them.
      Thanks Lucas. 🙂

      • Lucas said

        Hmmm… not sure whether it furthers the problem or not but maybe posting it to the brand’s social media accounts (facebook, twitter etc) so the message is public might spur some action.

      • Hi Lucas, there’s been lots of action but yeah – I personally want to say away from them as much as possible for now. I’m sure they’ve seen this update.

  79. Sarah O'Brien said

    These guys need to be hit where it hurts. Calling all backpackers in Australia and New Zealand to boycott Wicked Campers.

    • Yes! I’ve been suggesting this too. I heard that one (possibly more) camping/campervan site had banned Wicked from their family friendly location. I think it’s DEFINITELY worth writing a few emails to illuminate this for backpackers.
      Thanks Sarah 🙂

  80. Liz Formby said

    Hi. How can I send you a photo I recently took in Warrnambool Victoria of yet another offensive van?

  81. Claudine said

    I’m in to help rid our roads of pornography

  82. Warren Beikoff said

    I think Wicked have a lot to answer for. What people do in private is up to them but in public. REALLY> Should our children or ourselves be subject to someone else’s depravity. I even think most stickers on cars are pollution too that stinks in this great country of ours.

  83. I see the same tired dog whistles are being sounded as counter arguments, as they were last year. E.g. ‘get a life, ladies,’ (condescension 101) and ‘You’re’ taking offence (rather than this misogynistic drivel being offensive in and of itself.) I think you’re fighting against four forces (at least) here.

    1) The idea that misogyny is rebellious, when it fact it’s anything but. It’s as rebellious as an old man in a wing-backed chair and smoking jacket, in that it supports the long established status quo which has always systemically marginalized and diminished women.

    2) It’s profitable business – partly because of the successfully sold lie, of point number 1. Renting one of these monstrosities is a kind of thumbing the nose for some young people, a blow for freedom. The fact that it traps them in deeply conservative thinking is probably lost on them, or they wouldn’t rent the campers in the first place.

    3) Government is often toothless on such matters, because so many of the denizens of government just can’t get their heads around it being important – because they’re not being insulted.

    4) There’s been a palpable redneck backlash against women, and also minorities, and human rights activists in general in Australia and New Zealand (and Europe and the U.S.) in the last few years. It’s a fear that the established order is losing its absolute centrality and primacy. That’s reflected in some of the comments about ‘get a sense of humour.’ The power group (mostly white males) demands the right to define everyone’s reaction – men and women, conservative and freethinker – in order to keep its power entrenched. To try and render its values universal. They want to own not just your actions but what you think. And – and this is the kicker – their mechanism is to twist that in the exact opposite direction, by saying white conservative males are under threat of submission or extinction, which they’re not, no one’s going to be shackled or die if these ugly mobile misogynistic billboards are taken off the roads.

    Here in NZ the Women’s Refuge Facebook page carried a post about Wicked Campers a couple of weeks back and were deluged with ‘Get a sense of humour’ comments. Think about that, an organization (and its users) whose only reason for existence is as of the result of male violence against women, that works to build a safe place for abused women, was told to laugh about that very central – and very personal fear and trauma. They were told to find it funny.

    Fighting against point number 4 is a massive battle, but numbers 1, 2 and 3 might be more do-able.

    Great work, btw, Paula, to get this fronted, and to get politicians to at least acknowledge this ugly problem. I was pleased to hear of the lawmaker’s taking a stand last year after the petition, and perhaps naively took that more at face value than it deserved. Unfortunately a lot more to do.

    • Thank you for your amazing comment, James. Really appreciate it.
      I have a meeting coming up with a Federal MP and hope something can be done through legislation change.
      *Fingers crossed*
      Paula 🙂

  84. Steve said

    Have you seen Webbs latest dribble. Seems he didn’t like people trashing his vans lol

    http://www.wickedcampers.com.au/wicked-campers-australia/press-release-2015.html

    • Yes, I did. Says it all, doesn’t it? The way it drips in contempt.
      Thanks Steve.
      (I put it in the comments box of my update because I couldn’t add it after I had sent the update)

  85. silkworm said

    These men are obviously sexual psychopaths on the prowl for willing sex slaves.

  86. Given Wicked Campers have invited & given permission for those who don’t like their slogans to paint over them, is this actually legal? If not.. could their not be a public campaign and reaction to do exactly that. If enough people spay painted over enough vans for long enough surely that would make a stronger statement AND eventually make it so financially costly that Wicked Campers would be forced to remove such sickening slogans?!

    • Well – if you received my update from signing the petition last year, look under it to the comments section and look at my second comment. There I’ve put John Webb’s latest Press Release, which is dripping in contempt and says he revokes that permission.
      Many were doing just that, though, and I think it *was* being effective.
      Thanks Annette

  87. Luke Natoli said

    Why not sue the pig? Class action law suit should shut him right down. Have you seen the website? Pick up your camper naked and get a extra day free! I mean wtf.
    I am not going to explain thsee disgusting and perverted slogans to my daughter’s. Guy who owns this company is a dirty pig. Should just burn his place of work down to the floor.

  88. Fiona said

    How do I send camper photos to you? Fiona

  89. Jamie said

    I’m a guy. What you’re doing is great Paula. Thanks. You have my full support.

    • I actually think it’s irrelevant what a person’s sex is – either one is a good person or they’re not.
      Thank you so much for your support.
      If you want to partake in some online activism – Google their name and to the right of the results, you can see their name and photo etc. and can leave a Google review of them!
      A simple one star and negative comment should be the red flag needed to warn would-be customers of this company’s complete lack of integrity.
      Thanks for your support, Jamie! 🙂

  90. CheeseBiccies said

    I completely support your cause – the slogans are ugly and reflect an attitude towards women that is truly damaging to our society and particularly to young people who are still forming their own views.

    Surely if you could campaign some of the bigger/popular holiday parks to promise to reject vans with offensive slogans, the people who hire them would surely want to get a van without such a slogan, otherwise their trip might be ruined.
    That might be enough of a deterrent to see those offensive vans get rejected by enough backpackers that Mr Webb decides its in his own best interest to paint over them?

    • Yes, I’ve made that suggestions a few times. It just takes people to do it.
      I even put it in this recent update – people should contact their local caravan / camping sites.
      But only people power can do this. I’ve written so many emails but need others to join.
      Thanks for your support 🙂

  91. Catherine said

    I love your work, I have been disturbed for years over the increasing use of violence as entertainment, particularly violence perpetrated against women – it’s just everywhere. I think wicked campers is a reflection of a wider cultural shift evident in the media, games, etc. However I think it’s important to pick your battles with wicked campers because they can just so easily play the morally over the top politically correct card. While some of the examples above are just wrong others are just stupid, and though childish they are not necessarily offensive or at least not to the same degree. Jokes about sex do not bother me to the same extent as jokes about violence or sex and violence. It is an important distinction to make because it makes for a much more compelling argument for getting wicked campers to change such slogans with looking like the uptight “moral majority”. Thanks for all your efforts on this issue!

  92. Lorrien said

    I have hated seeing these vans around for years and i have an awesome sense of humour and am not in the least bit moralistic, I have an extremely open mind but how I behave in my personal life has nothing to do with what I think of these vans. And it irritates me that the owner of wicked campers is fobbing off the petition against his company as a ‘minority’ of ‘moralists’. They are offensive on so many levels. Not only are they disgusting to read but they are nationally embarrassing. It is travellers who hire them – I have travelled the world and I was appalled to realise that Australians are known as a country of redkneck racist wife beaters – with vans like this out there (not to mention our fabulous immigration laws and numerous actual wife beaters) it’s no wonder this is what people think of us.

    Why can’t our politicians take a stand for women’s rights? Are our advertising laws really that meaningless?? I agree that this campaign has a better chance of success if we focus on the misogynistic message and the way it portrays us as Australians rather than children reading about sex – in our current society any child watching tv for longer than 5 secs or listening to music knows about sex already. BUT they shouldn’t see women as nothing but objects for sexual gratification. I notice that none of their slogans seem to say anything about men being objects of sexual gratification for women for us to use and toss when bored.

    It’s always either about using women for sex or promoting drug use – cigarettes can’t even be advertised on tv so how is this possible!!! It’s fairly obvious that poor old John Webb founder of wicked campers can’t get work any other way except through shock value and is too cheap to pay for normal advertising. One suspects he may be over compensating for some personal failing as well because he certainly is trying very hard to appear young and cool and we all know what that means!!

  93. Sarah said

    according to the racial discrimination act
    It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
    (a) the act is reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people, and
    (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or some or all of the people in the group.
    We just need these words to apply to women, families and members of the public who don’t want our social sphere trashed.

    • Thanks Sarah. Yes, the main problem is that they’re in this big loophole. In theory, yes, they’re doing many of those things, it’s the legislation that’s the problem.
      Working on it, though. 🙂

  94. mcintoshi said

    To the deadheads above who want to cry foul at this as a “nagging women’s issue”, and even try to accuse those who support the petition as being not in the real world, let me gladly add my male, heterosexual voice to this also. I’m a happily married bloke with 3 daughters (but let’s countdown till you call me a closeted homosexual for not being a braindead yobbo…3…2…1…) and I can’t think of a time in my life that I would have laughed at a single one of these disgusting slogans. I mean, you really must be depraved…it’s not about a lack of humour on our part, or about being out of touch with reality…it’s not even about sex or sexuality…it’s about your lack of humanity. You simply don’t respect other people and the fact that you’d be happy for your own kids to read those slogans and see you laughing at them – that’s truly scary and you’ve got to wonder where they’re going to end up with such a gorgeous upbringing. Well done you. Well done on being you.

    Paula – I really came here to suggest trying to go on Q & A on the ABC…it can be a good way to get the attention of the only people who have the power to act. Also (and I mean this one 🙂 congratulations on doing what you’re doing. The husbands and fathers of non-bogan Australia are next to you.
    cheers,
    Ian

    • Thanks Ian ! Your support is really appreciated. Funnily enough I thought about contacting Q & A when I was watching it last night.
      Might give it a go. (Watch this space)
      😛
      Thanks again.

  95. I agree and fully support your campaign. The slogans are a total disgrace – you are right for mounting this campaign and anyone who thinks it is OK for anyone to drive around in full public view with this puerile and deeply offensive commentary on a vehicle is not confronting the hard facts about what it is and the impact it has on our society.

    You are also right to describe the owner of the offending company as completely lacking in integrity, not only for welching on an undertaking to remove the offensive rubbish on his vehicles, but for putting it on them in the first place. All for profit.

    The people who hire these vehicles are also complicit in this, because if they didn’t hire them there would be no incentive for the company to place the slogans on them in the first place. To make matters worse most of the people hiring the vehicles do not have a stake in the societies where they are causing such offence.

    There should be a full scale campaign in both NZ and Australia targeting the company and those driving the vehicles. Most of the slogans are highly offensive and have no place being displayed publicly in either Australia and New Zealand.

    I am not a prude, I am not religious and I regard myself as very liberal, but the slogans are unacceptable, particularly in full public view. The owner of the company and the tourists who drive the vehicles should be left with no doubt that the attitudes expressed in the slogans are no longer acceptable in either of our countries, even if they think they are being funny or that come from countries where it is acceptable to abuse and debase woman and corrupt young children.

    While the sentiments expressed in the slogans may have been socially acceptable a number of years ago, after an enormous amount of hard work, education and sacrifice has been expended to change this and it is simply unacceptable to tolerate its perpetuation.

    Complaints to the Police in respect of the drivers causing offence, and also the company as owners of the vehicles may be appropriate in certain circumstances, and if that is not successful a law change should be possible.

    Civil action could also be useful (if possible) and acting directly If all else fails towards the occupants of the vehicles and the vehicles may also be appropriate.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly.
      Not all customers are to blame. I have had people write to me and tell me they were refused a van swap. Also some overseas tourists (not knowing the language very well) don’t understand the double meaning and get quite upset when they learn what it means from people who confront them.
      But yes – then there are those who are happy with WC.
      Thank you for your kind support.
      🙂

  96. […] on the vans months after Wicked said they would remove them. A follow up petition was created, this petition has also marked as a victory by change.org but anyone who reads the final press release from Wicked […]

  97. Michelle said

    Hi Paula, today a Wicked van was parked at a very popular local family beach north of our town with the Chicken and Egg artwork posted above. Do you have a current petition I can circulate as I can not find one through Google. Also can I send you the photos I took to support your cause? Thanks Michelle

    • Hey Michelle.
      Unfortunately, there is no petition as they promised to fix the problem of ‘those’ particular vans and didn’t. But it would be great if you could send me the picture.
      Do you have Facebook? If so, could you please send the picture there – Questions for Us – along with the place and date?
      They’re such bastards.
      The heartening this is that I’ve been in NZ on a family holiday for about 10 days and are in a campervan ourselves and doing a LOT of driving and staying in campervan sites – I have seen 4 – up to a few days ago, I had only seen one. But out of the other brands, especially Jucy, I’d say I’ve seen at least 100.
      I’m hoping business has taken a hit. 🙂

    • I deeply apologise for the late reply – I get a lot of spam and this comment flew under the radar.
      I know exactly which can you mean.
      Unfortunately, there is no longer any petition. We have gone as high up as Malcolm Turnbull (before he was PM) and I went and had a meeting with the Shadow Communications Minister – but to no real avail.
      I have encouraged some people power actions, but also to no avail.
      WC seem to be in a loophole is the main problem and we don’t have a lot of people power – more like people apathy.
      I would love a copy of the photos – are you on FB? I have a Questions for Us page and people send me messages and photos through there.
      Again, so so sorry for missing this.
      Thanks for writing to me.
      Paula 🙂

  98. Rod Barford said

    Was in Byron Bay a few weeks ago and spotted a Wicked camper parked in the main front beach carpark, with a dingo depicted and a slogan with the word ‘fucking’ prominent.
    Pathetic and disgusting with families & young kids everywhere.

  99. simon said

    I live in Byron. I’m going to start carrying a tin of cheap spray paint in my car to paint over this dross. Ive seen some very offensive ones. I encourage others to do the same.

    • 🙂 When you see one, can you take photos of the slogan – with the number plate – and send it to me? I’m always updating my document. That’s if you’re able to, of course; I know that many encounters are them in motion.
      Paula

  100. […] the six months were up – mid Jan 2015 – I released the post, Literally Wicked. Campers still offend., which is still being updated by me, as the public continue to send through images from our […]

  101. Kylie Edwards said

    My husband believes the owner of Wicked Campers should be able to be charged by Police under section 228b of the Criminal code (Queensland) which says “Any person who knowingly and without lawful justification or excuse, exposes to view in any place to which the public are permitted to have access, whether on payment of a charge for admission or not, any obscene picture, photograph, drawing or model or any other object tending to corrupt morals, is guilty of a misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment for two years”. Apparently the word ‘obscene ‘ in this section has not been defined in the criminal code which is why it’s a grey area. This should possibly be explored and presented to the Attorney General also.

    • Thank you so much, Kylie – I will definitely forward it on.
      In general I have found that yes, it is the hesitancy to define certain words like ‘obscene’ that is the hurdle. Let’s hope that stops soon. *fingers crossed*
      Paula x

      • Kylie Edwards said

        You truely wonder what legislation is for when it can be argued because a ‘definition’ of a word like obscene is open to interpretation. We all know what ‘obscene’ means and Wicked Campers have a lot to answer for. Go for it Paula…someone has to stand up for the morals of the general population, and for our children.

  102. Several of these images and slogans refer to things that have trademark protection, like “Barbie” and “Legos.” Trademark protection is taken very seriously and is international in nature. Contact the legal departments of Mattel (for Barbie) and The Lego Group (for Legos) with these images. If you see and photograph any other slogans that are similar to commercial entities, or images, contact the legal departments of the appropriate entity. A lawsuit for trademark violation and devaluation of a trademark will empty this disgusting creature’s pockets very quickly.

    • I and many others have written to all these companies. There doesn’t seem to be much they can do. They’re not impressed and their legal teams are still investigating.

  103. […] as Questions For Us points out, there are still tonnes of vans on the road splashed with sexist AF […]

  104. […] as Questions For Us points out, there are still tonnes of vans on the road splashed with messages which could be […]

  105. […] the blog Questions For Us details, the slogans on Wicked Campers vehicles range from crass to downright rapey. In fact, in […]

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