Wicked Campers scolded for 'chocolate sperm' comment

By By Amy Kellow | 26 September 2012
A Wicked-branded camper van.

The ad watchdog has slammed Wicked Campers for the second time this week, ruling one of its vans' slogans was sexually inappropriate and used "obscene" language.

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) received a complaint about one of the hire company's vans which read: "If God was a woman, would sperm taste like chocolate?". The slogan was sprawled across the back of the Wicked-branded van.

The complainant argued: "I find the text sacrilegious and offensive."

The ruling marks the second time this week the camper van company has been forced to modify its slogans, with another case upheld on the grounds of racial and sexual "vilification". The slogan read: "It's better to be black than gay cos you don't have to tell your parents."

The watchdog condemned the new slogan's sexual content as unsuitable given its was available to be seen by a broad audience, including children. It ruled the van a breach of Section 2.4 of the Code requires sex, sexuality and nudity to be treated with sensitivity for its audience.

The ASB also deemed the use of the word "sperm" as "inappropriate language" as it was irrelevant to Wicked Camper's marketing, and was likely to be offensive to the wider community.

It claimed the slogan was out of line with Section 2.5 of the Code which states: "Advertising shall only use language which is appropraite in the circumstances. Strong or obsence language shall be avoided."

However, the watchdog dismissed complaints the slogan was "sacrilegious", stating: "The use of the 'God' in this instance is in the context of a commonly posed opening statement and does not make any degrogatory statement about religion or religious beliefs."

Wicked Campers did not comment on either of the ASB's rulings apart from claiming both statements had been removed from its vechicles.

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