Wicked slogan targets Abbott

Wicked slogan targets Abbott

Wicked campervans has moved its controversial social critiques into the political arena with a slogan targeting Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

One of the company's distinctive low-rent campers, bearing the message ''Tony Abbott drinks and smokes and lends his ass (sic) to other blokes'' was spotted just short of National Circuit on Tuesday morning.

The sighting of the Queensland-registered white Mitsubishi comes days after the company was ordered to ''modify or remove'' three messages from the sides of vans by the Advertising Standards Bureau.

A bureau spokeswoman said while it had yet to receive a complaint about the Abbott slogan, Wicked had been the subject of numerous complaints about homophobic, sexist and offensive slogans in the past.

The bureau takes the complaints seriously, arguing that because they are painted on the back of campervans ''they can be viewed by a broad audience that includes children''.


Unlike more traditional forms of advertising they cannot be ''pulled off the air'' through the co-operation of a publisher or broadcaster.

Wicked has a long history of refusing to make submissions when complaints are received and failing to comply with the bureau's rulings once they are handed down.

Neither the company's founder John Webb or its spokesman Ross Dudgeon could be reached for comment.

''There are probably hundreds of vans out there with that kind of thing (painted on them),'' the bureau spokeswoman said. ''It is their marketing strategy; they think it is funny but a lot of people don't.''

The Abbott slogan marks the first time Wicked has apparently targeted a named individual; previous complaints have been about signage that targeted sexes, races and sexual orientations.

Of the 39 complaints against the company in recent years, 21 have been upheld.

Slogans deemed as suitable for circulation have included ''if you woke up with $100 in your pocket and a sore arse would you tell anyone?'', ''honk if you had it last night'' and ''running around getting whacked on scooby snacks''.

Mr Abbott's office did not respond to a request for comment.

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