‘Vulgar vans’: End of the road for Wicked Campers

THE Federal Government is doing what it can to drive offensive Wicked Campervans off Australian roads for good.

Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer has written to State and Territory leaders and Transport Ministers, seeking their support to advance a coordinated national approach to force Wicked Campers to comply with community standards.

The multi-pronged strategy aims to ensure the controversial company can no longer expose cross-jurisdictional loopholes to escape accountability and continue displaying outdated, mysogynistic, vulgar and degrading signage.


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport Michael McCormack joined Ms Odwyer and urged travellers to help send Wicked Campers a message by choosing to rent vehicles that don’t carry offensive signage.

“These vehicles are offensive and belong in a junkyard not on Australian roads,” Mr McCormack said.

“By choosing to avoid these vehicles, you’re also choosing to ensure parents or grandparents won’t have to explain the vile meaning of these disgusting signs or images to their children or grandchildren while driving on our roads.”

Ms O’Dwyer said Australia was a modern and progressive country but the use of these vehicles contradicted those values and was unacceptable.

“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,” she said.

“That’s why I’ve written to the states and territories to urge them to support a national approach to rid Australia of these offensive vehicles.”

Source: Flickr via Michael Theis [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Mr McCormack said the ‘vulgar’ Campervans contained lewd language or repugnant images which demean women or glorify drug-taking.

For several years, Wicked Campers has failed to comply with Ad Standards’ Community Panel determinations to remove their offensive and degrading images from hire vehicles.

Because the company advertises on what’s effectively deemed their own material, there’s no third party media provider with which Ad Standards can work to achieve compliance.

The Queensland and Tasmanian governments have made efforts to deal with this issue by legislating to give power to motor vehicle registries to deregister any vehicle that doesn’t comply with Ad Standards determinations.

But Wicked Campers has been able to avoid compliance, and enforcement of large fines and penalties, by changing vehicle registration to another jurisdiction, once a complaint has been made.

Enforcing a national approach will ensure the company cannot ‘forum shop’ across jurisdictions, to expose this loophole and retain their offensive slogans.

At a Council meeting last year, the Austroads Registration and Licencing Taskforce was given the green light to progress national adoption of the Queensland Government’s successful approach to the controversial vans.