Wicked Campers should remove sexual slogans or get out cheque book, says Paula Bennett

Disney was investigating Wicked Campers' use of the Snow White characters on its vans.
FAIRFAX NZ

Disney was investigating Wicked Campers' use of the Snow White characters on its vans.

Three Wicked Campers vans have been banned because they made clear reference to criminal drug use - but sexual slogans are more difficult to classify.

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett wants the Australian vehicle hire company to remove the other offensive content of its own accord.

"I think they should be proactive in actually getting rid of those others that they know are completely offensive," she said.

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett isn't impressed by Wicked Campers vans.
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX NZ

Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett isn't impressed by Wicked Campers vans.

"If not, then I suggest they get their chequebook out and pay some pretty hefty fines."

READ MORE:
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One van says: "A wife: an attachment to screw on the bed to get the housework done".

Bennett was pleased with the national solution in getting the three vans off the road, and wanted similar rulings with the company's other vehicles. 

Wicked could face a fine of up to $200,000 per offence if it continued to use them. Drivers of the vans could also be fined and police would be able to use their discretion in charging. Police were deciding on the level of consequences.

Five more vehicles were being assessed by the the Office of Film and Literature Classification. Some of these involved offensive sexual references and language.

The Office expected to make rulings on one or two vehicles each week. 

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IS THE SEXUAL CONTENT HARMFUL?

Deputy chief censor Jared Mullen could not disclose what content was under review, but said sexual references weren't as "clear cut" as imagery and signage that encouraged criminal behaviour.

 

"It hinges on the extent and degree of those sexual references, and also the likely harm that it's going to cause.

"We're looking at whether premature exposure to advanced adult sexual content, those might include porn references or exposure to various paraphilias, sexual fetishes if you like, would be harmful for the developing sexual identity of children and teenagers.

"It does depend on the particular reference."

Police had not yet submitted all cases that members of the public had complained about. 

For example a picture of Snow White with a crack pipe hadn't been put forward for review, even though the image of her snorting cocaine was banned.

"We can call these publications in, but the reality is that the police would have to go and round them up anyway," Mullen said.

THE RULING

The Chief Censor Andrew Jack ruled three of the Australian company's vehicles qualified as "objectionable publications" on Thursday.

These particular vans involved cartoon characters promoting drug-taking.

"All three of these use characters that are well-known and loved by children to promote the use of restricted drugs and that's just not OK," Jack said on Paul Henry.

Police referrals had been trickling into the classifications office "over time", and the last report Jack received showed five more vans were in the queue under "active examination".

Jack had to treat each van as an individual publication and couldn't stop the company itself from letting their other vehicles in the fleet.

"You have to look in a great level of detail about what they actually doing, and try and identify what the harm might be, what the injury to the public good might be from having the material, in this case, on the roads."

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