A Tui "Yeah Right" billboard having a dig at campervan drivers has them crying foul.
The dual-facing billboard erected on Hewletts Rd near Turners' auction yard heading to and from Mount Maunganui reads: "Show that campervan driver some respect. Yeah right".
Local nurse David Liddall, 57, has owned a campervan for six years and sold his house last year to live in it permanently, and has a permanent site at Golden Grove Holiday Park at the Mount.
Mr Liddall said he did not think the billboard served any purpose.
"Especially if it stirs up intense negative feelings about campervan drivers, and encourages other motorists to be disparaging and unfairly target us all as being bad drivers."
He said the billboard could also have a negative impact on the impression tourists had about the country's friendliness.
"Lots of tourists travel around in campervans. It's important to show them respect as they're guests in our country and bring lots of income with them which is vital for the local economy."
Another campervan owner staying at Mount Maunganui Beach Holiday Park described the billboard as a "pathetic" attempt at humour.
"Some of the Tui billboards are quite humorous but this is not one of their better ones,"she said.
However, Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Rhys Arrowsmith told the Bay of Plenty Times he was not convinced the tongue-in-cheek billboard would have a negative impact on tourism.
Tauranga couple Bruce Collier, 69, and his wife Jan, 57, regularly travel in campervans.
Recently retired Mr Collier, who ran his own motor homes business, said the billboard could be interpreted as describing all campervan drivers as "a pain in the butt".
"Yes, it would be good if more campervan drivers pulled over particularly driving in Pyes Pa but apart from that I don't think for the average campervan driver it's a big issue."
Mrs Collier described the billboard as "a bit cheeky" and suggested that if anyone deserves attention it should be "aggressive truck drivers".
Mr Arrowsmith said the overall reaction to the billboard depended on individual interpretation.
"Inherently, these billboards are supposed to be tongue-in-cheek opinions. I think if it's supposed to be humorous then Tui has had far better ones in the past. But if it helps turn a negative into a positive by promoting the need for people to be more tolerant of other road users then it has to be a good thing," he said
Tui marketing manager William Papesch is making no apology for the billboard.
"Our 'Yeah Right' lines, including this particular 'Yeah Right', are all about bringing a smile to New Zealanders. This particular billboard pokes a bit of fun at campervan drivers during the peak camping season in Tui's traditional tongue-in-cheek fashion," he said.
"Tui is irreverent, and all about making light of topical situations and occasions in the lads' world. While most enjoy a laugh, sometimes the 'Yeah Right' billboards don't hit the mark with everyone."