Thursday, March 24, 2016

Wicked Campers Still Don't Get It

NZ's Department of Conservation (DOC) has joined a targeted assault against controversial campervan hire company Wicked Campers.
Wicked (which started in Oz and operates in NZ) is under fire from Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett for highly offensive slogans and imagery painted on its vehicles.
DOC has removed Wicked Campers from a list of rental companies, where tourists can buy a DOC campsite pass. A spokesman for Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says: "The ministers find these slogans sleazy, misogynistic and offensive."
Wicked Campers has a long history of hitting the headlines on both sides of the Tasman for all the wrong reasons:
March 2016 - Popular Nelson campsite Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve banned Wicked Campers from their site, saying the vehicles' messages were inappropriate for the families staying there.
Feb.2016 - Whangarei District Council threatened to prosecute Wicked Campers if its campervans with offensive or objectionable material on them were found in the district.
Jan.2016 - NZ's Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about a van slogan saying "The best thing about oral sex is the five minutes of silence." The board said the quote was deliberately provocative and offensive, was likely to cause serious and widespread offence to most people, and "had not been prepared responsibility to consumers and society".
2015 - travel guide Lonely Planet said it would remove Wicked Campers from its NZ/Oz guidebooks because of its vans' offensive slogans.
2014 - Wicked Campers agreed to review a van featuring a witch passing a meth pipe to Snow White, after a police complaint.
NZ Police has joined the public campaign against Wicked Camper vans, but acknowledge it's a complex issue from a law enforcement perspective: "A message may be widely regarded as offensive and inappropriate, but this does not necessarily make it a criminal matter." The chief censor's office says for a publication to be banned, it has to have done "injury to the public good", instead of just being offensive.
Convictions for knowingly possessing objectionable material can result in a fine up to $50,000 or a 10 year prison sentence.
Meanwhile Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett wants the public to send her photos of all four sides of Wicked's vans:

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