Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Foul messages are no laughing matter

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Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp in Nelson Bays has banned the vans altogether.
Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp in Nelson Bays has banned the vans altogether.

So, there's this campervan company. I won't say their name, because they're a bunch of tools and their marketing policy is based around acting like lamentable dickheads, then sitting back and giggling as mainstream media and social media tell the story of their lamentable dickheadedness, thus spreading their brand name everywhere.

The bare bones are simple: if you think sexual assault is hilarious, you're going to love these guys. Of course, if you think sexual assault is hilarious, you've probably never experienced it yourself nor known the awfulness of having a loved one experience it. These pituitary retards write jokes about sexual assault on the sides of vans, then rent those vans to young travellers.

Of course, the argument goes, if you don't find these jokes hilarious, then you're just some sort of funless PC loser. A 2002 study by Martin Fuhr (Coping humor in early adolescence. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research) found sexually aggressive humour to be juvenile in origin, and thus more common among adults who are more immature.

So, yes - these guys need to grow up. Grow up or not, I'd prefer it if they just buggered off.

Not all the vans carry rape jokes, but plenty of them are in terrible taste.

In Australia, where the company is based, one member of the public took matters into their own hands, painting over an offensive branding message with this: "If ya would'nt [sic] say it to ya nan ... don't write it on ya van!"

They've been condemned in the Queensland Parliament and, in Wellington, National Party MPs - sensing the near-universal dislike of these vans - are starting a clamour to have these offensive slogans off our roads. In the past, the company has failed to comply with rulings from the Advertising Standards Authority.

The best action to take is more direct. Piha Domain Camp last week turned away one of these vans and Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp in Nelson Bays has banned the things altogether.

It'd be great to see more in the travel industry shut them out.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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