Campsite bans obscene slogans on vans

Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve in the Nelson region of New Zealand has banned vehicles from Wicked Campers, which operates out of Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown.  Wicked Campers has vehicles with rude slogans and lurid imagery, some of which have a sexual content.

David Ross, the head of the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve says that he has always been unhappy with sexist, misogynist and derogatory slogans and believes that his move will force authorities to do something about it.  As from now, no more Wicked Camper vans will be allowed on the site, though only a handful have been turned away so far.

"Clearly we feel the branding on these Wicked Camper vans is inappropriate. It's not the kind of messaging we want inside our facilities. We have a lot of kids, families, a lot of tourists and local folk as well, so it's not something we want to be seen as supporting. Ultimately if we let these vans in here, it's a tacit approval of their branding and that's not something I want to engage in."

The reason for the ban explains Mr Ross is from a business perspective which does not want to offend other clients.  He denies that he is on a moral crusade.

Wicked Campers has certainly been successful with getting its name known.  Even the Prime Minister, John Key, said the wording is 'beyond edgy and downright offensive'.

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says she's determined to do something about it although practical ideas are lacking. The chief censor could investigate this and if slogans were ruled obscene then drivers could be fined up to NZD15,000 or even jailed which would be an effective way of taking them off the road.  Nonetheless the office of the chief censor does not appear to believe that such a ban could legally be enforced as no crime has been committed.  The chief censor would need to consider each slogan individually and the company would have the right to appeal each one, at the same time benefitting from the free pubicity given.

One assumes that it would not come to that as by that time Wicked Campers would have succeeded in their goal of promoting the business. If a slogan were deemed illegal then the van could be repainted with a new one and be back on the road within an hour.



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