Wicked: Mum forced to explain sex obscenity to son
Another Wicked Campers slogan has been slammed after a mother, who had to explain the sexual reference to her 9-year-old son, complained.
The slogan, "The boss called me a w***er... I was so shocked I almost let go of his c***", caught the attention of Jenn Hooper and her son, Zak, who were stuck behind the campervan in Hamilton at Easter.
She and another motorist in Warkworth complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, which has ordered the "offensive" advertisement to be removed.
Mrs Hooper said her son asked what a w***er was which she then had to explain.
"I told him that company thought it was funny and smart but it's not."
While she did not have a problem with some of the Queensland company's slogans, many of which have come under fire for their explicit references, she felt this one was inappropriate, particularly for children.
"It is so public. The choice of the consumer whether they see it or not, is taken away when it's driving around the country. I have no choice as to who I follow on the road or who I'm parked next to. They've deliberately made a big effort to make sure it's in your face."
The Warkworth motorist said their two sons, aged 6 and 8, also asked what the quote meant.
The Advertising Standards Authority Complaints Board upheld the complaints, calling the slogan "deliberately provocative".
In a decision to be released today the Complaints Board said the advertisement was likely to cause serious and widespread offence and had not been prepared "with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society".
It ordered removal of the slogan, however, Advertising Standards Authority chief executive Hilary Souter said the industry organisation had no powers to enforce the removal.
Ms Souter said she could not comment about this specific complaint before the decision is released at 4pm today, but that Wicked Campers was no stranger to the ASA.
In total the ASA has received 27 complaints about the campervans from 2008 to the end of 2015.
"Based on our code, it's a problem. We wouldn't accept this kind of language or imagery on a billboard, or a TV ad, or in a newspaper or interactive ad, and we've said it's not okay on this vehicle."
But the organisation followed a voluntary process and could not punish or issue fines.
"We rely on persuasion and publicity to get compliance with our decisions. But Wicked Campers don't respond to us anymore."
Ms Souter said initally the company responded and in some instances changed the advertising, but responses stopped after 2011.
The decision is the latest in a string of findings against the company including most recently the Chief Censor to stamp out the slogans.
In mid-May a ruling from the Chief Censor banned one of the vans carrying a term considered to be degrading to women.
It was the first time a sexual term had been banned from being displayed on the campervans.
And in April three slogans linking drug use to children were deemd "objectionable publications", rated R16, meaning Wicked Campers faces a fine of up to $200,000 for each instance in which those vans are seen in public.
The vans have also been banned from some campgrounds and DoC sites and had their slogans covered by tourists who hired them, while efforts by a range of officials including Government ministers to discuss the slogans with Wicked Campers' owner John Webb, the Queensland mechanic who started the company more than a decade ago, have failed.
Mr Webb was unavailable for comment when the Herald contacted the Wicked Campers office in Queensland. An employee said the owner was overseas and not contactable by telephone.