There's A Massive Online Petition Accusing This Backpacker Rental Company Of Promoting Rape Culture
Wicked Campers unleash hell. UPDATE: It worked!
Update — July 16, 5:30 p.m. AEST: people power has forced Wicked Campers to withdraw this misogynistic marketing.
Paula Orbea, the Sydney school teacher who started the petition against Wicked Campers, has received a statement that reads: "Wicked Campers Owner,John Webb wishes to acknowledge the prevailing community opinion by REMOVING the slogan in question and making a commitment over the coming six months to changing slogans of an insensitive nature." Read the update here.
Sydney high school teacher Paula Orbea has launched a Change.org petition to “eliminate misogynistic and degrading slogans and imagery” from Wicked Campers after her 11-year-old daughter saw the van while out with her grandfather in NSW's Blue Mountains.
Orbea told the Daily Mail she feels Wicked is 'perpetuating' a rape culture.
"'I can't prove that these slogans will cause a male to do that, but it's immoral and its hurting people." she told the newspaper.
"These perspectives are dangerous and now it's hit my family."
On the petition page she wrote: "When one reads such a slogan, the same thing happens to every person who understands it – which my 11 yr old did – we picture it".
"You can either gain pleasure from this image or disgust. Those who gain pleasure are the problem - yet they have a platform to spread their vile perspectives."
Wicked Campers have a long history of sexist, racist and homophobic slogans on their vans.
The furore follows a recent finding by Australia's advertising watchdog that upheld a complaint about the company's slogan "fat girls are harder to kidnap".
According to media blog Mumbrella, Wicked Campers have fallen foul of the Advertising Standards Board seven times in 2014.
Previous ASB rulings have included the slogans: “Get out ya tits and we’ll call it quits”, “Does your asshole ever get jealous of the shit that comes out of your mouth?”, “Shut the f#ck up Donny“ and “God I’m Fucking Awesome”.
Signatories to Paula Orbea's petition are outraged – and determined to make a difference.
Wicked Campers says it never set out to be controversial. The site's website and Facebook page are currently down.
"We don't try to be controversial. It's not our goal", Wicked Campers spokeswomen Leanne Webb, told SBS. "We just do what we love and just have fun."
BuzzFeed has contacted Wicked Campers for comment.