New Zealand Law Society - Authority chides rental firm over “kill or be killed” slogan

Authority chides rental firm over “kill or be killed” slogan

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The advertising watchdog has upheld a complaint that a slogan on a campervan with the tagline “kill or be killed” was irresponsible.

A van by the controversial Australian-based Wicked Camper firm showed a cartoon image of a woman holding a gun next to a skeleton.  

A complainant who spotted the van in Balclutha in February told the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) they were concerned the advertisement promoted an irresponsible message.

“With the current spate of shootings in schools, public places etc, this is not a responsible message from the vehicle rental company, particularly considering current events relating to gun violence.”  

The complainant also raised concerns about another slogan on the rear of the vehicle which said “don't drink and drive - you might spill your beer”.  

As with previous complaints Wicked Campers did not respond to the Authority.    

“The Complaints Board was disappointed this particular advertiser continuously failed to respond to numerous complaints. It again expressed its concern at the advertiser’s repeated refusal to engage with and respect the principles of self-regulation,” the ASA’s decision noted.  

The company has had many run-ins with the ASA in the past, including over a slogan that “trivialised” the rape of young boys; a cartoon image of two people with hooded faces pointing guns at each other with the tagline “Chill or be Chilled”; and a “terrorism” slogan. All of these complaints were upheld.