The Australian government on Friday stepped up its campaign against a “misogynistic” campervan firm, branding its notorious fleet of graffiti-clad vehicles vulgar and offensive.
Officials choose International Women’s Day to launch the tirade against Wicked Campers, a van hire firm whose spray-painted slogans have long-been a source of outrage on Australian roads.
“We have no tolerance for sexist, misogynistic and offensive slogans on campervans, or those displayed anywhere else for that matter, no matter how hard some try to justify their existence,” Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer said in a statement.
The hire firm, popular with backpackers, has long come under fire from politicians and concerned parents, and has been banned or discouraged from festivals.
Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau has for years received complaints about slogans spray-painted on Wicked Campers vehicles.
In January, the bureau found the company breached its code of ethics with an obscene slogan inviting people to masturbate.
And in 2014 the firm was forced to apologise after an online petition drew more than 100,000 signatures protesting a coarse van slogan regarding “princesses”.
In 2008 Wicked was subject to criticism over a xenophobic slogan concerning Japan’s tradition of whale hunting.
The federal government said Friday it would coordinate a response with state authorities to remove a loophole that allowed the car hire firm to change its vehicle registration to a different state once a complaint had been lodged.