Public left 'happy campers' following Wicked's cave

Wicked Campers owner John Webb is vowing to have all
Wicked Campers owner John Webb is vowing to have all "slogans of an insensitive nature" on his vans altered within six months

UPDATE: The general public has been left happy campers after Wicked Campers caved and decided to clean up its act following complaints about their van slogans.

Many took to Facebook this morning to share their pleasure in the win. However some still thought it was political correctness gone too far.

Kristin Patterson wrote on The Sunshine Coast Daily's Facebook page that she felt tolerance of derogatory and crass slogans showed exactly how far society had not come.

"I'm glad that they have to pick up their act," she said.

However some said it the demands were 'attacking the Australian way.' Dale Williams said he felt it was the Australian way to have a joke every now and then.

"I love those things anyone who doesn't is un-Australian in my eyes," he said. 

"Every real Australian swears and can have a joke I mean come on it's the only place in the world where we call a stranger mate."

EARLIER: WICKED Campers has caved to public opinion and is cleaning up its act.

Numerous complaints highlighted in the Sunshine Coast Daily in the past year did nothing to inspire the controversial camper hire company to tone down the messages on the back of its vehicle.

Seven rulings against its slogans from the Advertising Standards Bureau also were ignored.

But an online petition started by Sydney mother Paula Orbea last week, which gathered more than 120,000 signatures, finally achieved a result.

The petition also sparked international attention and prompted Greens Senator Larissa Waters to call for a motion in the Senate condemning "the sexist, misogynistic and racist slogans that Wicked Campers have on their hire vans".

Late yesterday afternoon, Wicked founder John Webb sent through a "sincere apology" and ensured the offending slogan was removed.

He also made a commitment over the next six months to "changing slogans of an insensitive nature".

"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," he said.

It's the first time since 2012 Mr Webb has responded to complaints, including seven rulings from Ad Standards.

In an interview with the Daily yesterday, Ad Standards CEO Fiona Jolly appeared to have given up that Wicked would comply with its rulings.

Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey had indicated he was unable to help and her hope was with Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie to "find a solution to this company's lack of conscience".

Mr Blejie said a parliamentary inquiry had been set up last year "to look into current regulation of outdoor advertising in Queensland".


It would look "whether reform is needed to protect children from being exposed to sexually explicit and inappropriate outdoor advertising".

The inquiry recommended the government move away from self-regulation to a form of co-regulation which would allow the government to impose hefty fines on businesses like Wicked that continually ignored Ad Standards rulings.

It also recommended repeat offenders, such as Wicked, might have to have their future advertising "pre-vetted" to ensure it complied.

Wicked was specifically mentioned in the inquiry because it continued to ignore Ad Standards.

Mr Bleijie was expected to release his response to the inquiry's recommendations "in the very near future".

Ms Jolly said Wicked was the only company to continually ignore requests for compliance.

"Wicked is our only problem advertiser," she said. "They don't respond to our requests."

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson also gained national coverage over his calls for Wicked to be subject to the same rules as outdoor advertising.

Cr Jamieson told the Daily the "best way to deal with this problem is for Wicked Campers to amend some of the messages on its vans".

"Surely replacing them with witty comments such as on its other vans would be a sound business move, instead of denigrating women who represent more than half of the population."

Topics:  editors picks politics wicked campers

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