Wicked Campers snorts with derision at ad watchdog

By Amy Kellow | 9 May 2013
A Wicked Campers van which showed Disney character Snow White snorting an unknown white powder.

In the world of Wicked Campers, Snow White doesn't need dwarves. She's got drugs. The controversial graphic was one of three upheld by the ad watchdog. But once again the firm has refused to comply.

The budget camper van hire company - which operates in Australia and New Zealand - has been repeatedly slammed by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) over the contentious content on its vehicles. While it was complying with rulings last year, it has  ignored demands the watchdog this year. Complaints about slogans include those such as "I'm straight, don't rear end me" and ”If you’ve ever met a woman with crooked teeth, you’ve met a woman who has given Chuck Norris a blow job”.

The watchdog claims it is still working with Queensland Police to have them removed, but is yet to be successful.

One complainant told the ASB that the graphic of Snow White was "completely unacceptable for children [...] and there is no oversight to prevent these vans from being parked outside a primary school". The painting showed the Disney character snorting a powder in lines, with an image of its also posted to Wicked's Facebook page.

Another - who claimed to be a Wicked Camper customer - took offence to a vehicle they travelled in which had the slogan "LSD Taxi" plastered across the side. It was accompanied by an image of a man with a blue tablet on his tongue. The complainant said: "we had to drive around with this car advertising for the use of drugs despite our objections."

Meanwhile, the third slogan to be slammed was one which said "Fuck it dude...let's go bowling". A parent claimed themselves and their daughters were offended by the swear word and such language was not tolerated at their school or home.

The ASB upheld the first two cases on the grounds they had breached health and safety community standards. It said that while the Snow White graphic did not specify what powder she was snorting, it strongly suggested the use of cocaine. It upheld the third on the grounds of its "obscene language".

Wicked did not provide a response in any of the case determinations.

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