Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Censor on target with van ban

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I'm all for clever advertising but there is a fine line between funny and taking things too far.

In my opinion, many of the designs and slogans on the sides of Wicked Campers' vans have overstepped that line.

I think the Chief Censor has made the right decision in ruling three slogans on Wicked Campers to be R16 and classifying them as "objectionable publications".

Further rulings are expected to come from the Chief Censor, with the current three being those issues first raised. I hope the decisions are as sensible as the first.

The vans affected by the ban are those carrying slogans which linked drug use to children. One carried an image of Snow White using what appeared to be a crack cocaine pipe while another featured cartoon characters Scooby Doo and Shaggy smoking marijuana.

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The third van to have its slogan banned showed a Dr Seuss character also talking about smoking marijuana - words on the van attributed to the character were "I did a bong, I did, I did".

You wouldn't get away with that sort of content on prime time TV or in a newspaper, so why should vehicles be any different when they are even more visible?

You can't stop your children from seeing the vans but you can control what they watch and read more carefully. And of course they are going to have an interest in pictures of Snow White, Scooby Doo or Dr Seuss.

Imagine trying to explain to your kids what Snow White's pipe is for. Kids shouldn't know what crack is, let alone be seeing images which promote its use.

I don't even want to see that.

We have a big enough drug problem in our country as it is; we shouldn't be encouraging it or glamourising its use.

Other slogans, while not depicting criminal activity, are plain offensive and morally wrong. They are bad enough that I don't want to repeat them here.

They promote lewd sexual acts and the objectification of women.

Again, not stuff we should be encouraging and not something I want to be confronted with as I'm going about my day.

It worries me that there are people who are okay with such comments and that makes me concerned for future generations who are having this stuff thrust in front of them from such a young age. Is it any wonder that our young people have unrealistic expectations of relationships and intimacy?

The ban is certainly a step in the right direction. It's now up to the police to enforce it.

Wicked Campers can be slapped with a fine of up to $200,000 if they are seen out in public.

I hope the police do take it seriously and follow through with the fine. It's not ideal that it is down to our police force. They have far more important and urgent duties to carry out and I fear it might be bumped down their list of priorities (and rightly so).

We, as the public, need to do our part to report any sightings.

The other concern I have is that the banned slogans could easily be replaced with new and equally offensive ones which are then going to have to go through the same process.

It may again come down to the public to take action.

Hopefully people will think twice before giving the company their business.

I certainly won't be hiring a camper from them.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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