Wicked Campers, the travel company synonymous with cheap backpacker mobility and saucy, eye-catching vans, has come under attack from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
The premier has urged travellers to boycott the cheap and cheerful vans until the company removes some of the slogans painted on them which she deems derogatory and sexist.
“The first step is people can boycott them. It is unacceptable to have those vile slogans on those vans,” Palaszczuk said.
The leader of Queensland, the ‘sunshine state’ popular with backpackers exploring Australia, suggested the controversial Wicked vans were in breach of advertising standards and was instructing the state’s attorney general to investigate ways to force the company into action over censoring the painted slogans.
“I don’t like it, you don’t like it – I don’t think any woman in Queensland likes it,” she said.
“It’s about time that they (Wicked Campers) took some responsibility for their actions as well.”
Some of the controversial slogans painted on the Wicked Campers vans include:
‘Behind every great woman is a man checking out her arse’
‘If I want shit from you, I’ll squeeze your head’
‘Life sucks if your girlfriend doesn’t’
‘I’m no gynaecologist but I’ll have a look’
‘I’m straight. Don’t rear end me’
‘Did MJ blow Bubbles?’
‘It’s not PMS, it’s you’
‘Dear Lucy. I can already imagine the gaffa tape on your mouth’
A spokesman for Queensland’s chief motoring group, the RACQ, Paul Turner said the phrases daubed across many of the Wicked vans were derogatory and may encourage dangerous driving by other motorists whose attention is diverted by them.
“This government has pledged to place worthy emphasis on issues of violence against women. Accordingly, these misogynistic, sexually predatory driving billboards which are in breach of the advertising code must no longer be ignored,” he said.
Wicked as always
It’s not the first time Wicked Campers have drawn the ire of the public and authorities (and garnered the subsequent free media exposure).
In 2008 the company was forced by the Advertising Standards Bureau to remove slogans which were deemed “misogynistic and demeaning to women” from two of its vehicles.
In 2014 Wicked Campers was the subject of a petition instigated by a concerned Aussie mum who said: “My 11 year old daughter was with her grandfather in the Blue Mountains a few days ago, when she read the slogan: ‘In every princess, there’s a little slut who wants to try it just once’ on the back of a Wicked Camper van.”