Edgy? Pushing Boundaries?
Marketing departments have been creating 'catchphrases' and 'slogans' for years. But how far would you go? Would you work for a company where the business model is to create sexist, homophobic and racist advertising material?
Wicked Campers, an Australian camper van rental company, with outlets across New Zealand, United Kingdom, North America, South Africa and South America, are no stranger to controversial slogans. They have been using offensive slogans on their vehicles for years.
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Online and Offline Campaigns
There have been many campaigns against Wicked Campers, and currently three New Zealand Ministers are leading the charge against Wicked Campers. Minister for Women Louise Upston, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry and Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett.
John Key (Former Prime Minister of New Zealand) voiced his opinion on Wicked Campers, saying in a radio interview in March 2016 :
"There's quite a big difference between humour and being over the line"
The Company owners of Wicked Campers don't often comment on their controversial slogans, but back in 2015 they released the following statement:
"We employed a team of highly-intelligent, socially-conscious super monkeys to closely monitor the subject matter featured on our vehicles and scream loudly when offended. This initiative had been code-named Moral Monkey Squad. Moral Monkey Squad are dedicated to satisfying the whims and wishes of the humour-inept, self-righteous moral majority while wearing little monkey tuxedos and funny hats" source
In 2016 The New Zealand Department of Conservation removed Wicked Campers from a list of rental companies on its website where tourists can buy official Department Of Conservation campsite passes.
In February 2016 the Whangarei District Council (New Zealand) threatened to prosecute Wicked Campers if its campervans with offensive or objectionable material on them were found in the district. With a maximum plenty of $20,000.
In 2015 the publisher of popular travel guidebook Lonely Planet said it would remove Wicked Campers from its New Zealand and Australian guidebooks because of its vans' offensive slogans.
So what's all the fuss about?
I'll let you judge for yourself, here is a small selection of slogan's you'll find on Wicked Campervans.
Can you Help?
Why yes you can, Paula Bennett has asked the public to send her photos of all four sides of Wicked Campers vehicles by email email@example.com. And if you want to find out more on Social Media you can follow #BoycottWickedCampers on twitter or like Wicket Picketts on Facebook.
Interested in reading more about Wicked Campers, here are some links you'll find useful
+BuzzFeed "There’s A Massive Online Petition Accusing This Backpacker Rental Company Of Promoting Rape Culture"
News.com.au "People-power win after Sydney teacher Paula Orbea launches petition against ‘misogynistic and degrading slogans’ on Wicked Campers vans"
TVNZ "Controversial Wicked Campers erased from 'family-friendly' Lonely Planet guides"