Wicked Campers' sexist slogans banned in Aus

The national push to get misogyny off our roads

The scourge of Wicked Campers’ obscene slogans and images will finally be removed from Australian roads, with state transport leaders agreeing to uniformly deregister offending vehicles while attending the Transport Infrastructure Council in Adelaide.

For more than a decade, women’s rights groups including Collective Shout have campaigned to have the vehicles with offensive messaging addressed, even targeting Australian music festivals. Wicked Campers’ is known for its sexist and misogynist slogans and imagery, including content advocating violence against women. Since 2008, advertising standards have upheld complaints against more than 80 vans.

In response to the consistent efforts of campaigners, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland have all passed state legislation that allows vehicles to be deregistered when they don’t comply with an advertising standards ruling against them, with a similar Bill in the South Australian Parliament. However a national response to the problem was desperately needed in order to ensure vans that feature offensive slogans are not only deregistered, but cannot then be re-registered in another state.

Now, future complaints about offensive slogans will be referred to a state’s advertising standards board and reviewed against the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics. If found to be in breech, the vehicle’s messaging will have to be removed or its registration will be cancelled.

Victorian Roads Minister Jaala Pulford announced the agreement on Friday, and Victorian State Premier Daniel Andrews posted it to his Facebook page, writing, “There’s no place for demeaning, misogynistic rubbish on our roads – or in our state.”

Labor’s state shadow spokeswoman for the Status of Women in South Australia, Katrine Hildyard shared the post, writing, “Fantastic leadership Dan Andrews and Victorian Labor. Together with women’s advocacy organisations including Collective Shout and the YWCA, domestic violence services and a range of other groups, we have been campaigning for a long time (for) the Marshall Liberal Government to pass our legislation to rid our roads of Wicked Camper Vans which promote violence against women. They have to date refused to do so.

“Whilst their actions are long overdue, I am glad to hear that Stephan Knoll has finally listened and is beginning to understand how wrong it is to use language which disrespects women and promotes violence against women.”