Another twist in van advertising row

18:46, Feb 20 2013
'Offensive' advertising
COMPLAINT UPHELD: The Advertising Standards Authority has requested images such as these be removed from Independent Forklifts' vans. This image is less explicit than others

The story of an advertising campaign deemed offensive has taken a fresh turn.

Independent Forklifts in Washdyke has struck criticism from a major supermarket chain that banned one of its vans from their properties because of the nature of signwriting on the vehicle.

The company had earned a slap on the wrist this week from the Advertising Standards Authority for using "sexualised and objectified" women in scanty clothing on its vans.

It will challenge the judgment after a complaint was upheld, on the grounds the advertisement was offensive and used inappropriate sexual appeal.

An anonymous caller responded when The Herald asked readers to have their say yesterday.

The person claimed to work for Foodstuffs and said an Independent Forklifts van had been banned from company sites because signwriting on it was deemed offensive.


A Foodstuffs spokesperson confirmed the company had been advised its van signage was inappropriate within the head office and member store premises.

Independent Forklifts general manager Merv Dore confirmed the company had removed signwriting from a vehicle after Foodstuffs lodged a complaint.

"The signage deemed to be inappropriate has been taken off-site and we still work with Foodstuffs.

"One van was deemed to be a bit risque and we said we wouldn't take it back to Foodstuffs' sites."

Meanwhile, feedback from readers about the images and words was strong.

The campaign features different women with a forklift in the background while the text reads: "You know you're not the first . . . But does that really matter? Used Forklifts."

Trish Donaldson said there was nothing wrong with it. "It makes me smile when I see it. If people don't like it then they should get a life."

Hillary Muir said the image was degrading to women. "It doesn't uphold the real value of women at all; it denigrates them to a place of sexual use."

Trevor Mitchell asked: "What planet are these people on to think this is offensive? You see more when you walk down the street than what is shown on the vans. They need to get their heads out of the sand. It is 2013 by the way!"

"It's tacky but not offensive. The pictured van you are showing with this article is not sexually explicit. If she was topless or [had] excessive and exaggerated cleavage or whatever, it wouldn't be suitable as kids would see it. The copy is humorous," said Tracey Evans.

Errol Wells said: "I might just update my own signage if it attracts this sort of attention. I would suggest [complainant] M Robertson should take a good look at what is out there."

The Timaru Herald