Controversial Australian Ads Featuring Gay Safe Sex Return After Protestors Show Up
Controversial safe sex advertisements will be returned to Brisbane bus shelters after allegations the complaints were the work of an orchestrated Christian lobby campaign.
One of Australia's largest outdoor advertising companies last night said it had been the target of a "co-ordinated Australian Christian Lobby campaign" to have the ads removed.
Adshel junked the Rip and Roll advertisements on Tuesday after 45 complaints but was forced into a backflip yesterday after a furious online campaign denounced the move.
The protest began on Tuesday night and by yesterday morning thousands of people had taken to couriermail.com.au and social media websites to object to the removal.
More than 45,000 people yesterday joined an online "event" opposing the decision, culminating in a small protest outside Adshel's Fortitude Valley offices. The advertisements, from the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities, depict two fully clothed gay men holding a condom and in an embrace.
Adshel chief executive Steve McCarthy said he first understood the complaints came from independent sources, however late yesterday he said it later became clear the company had been targeted by the ACL.ACL director Wendy Francis denied organising a protest against the ad but said she has long been campaigning against "sexualised" ads and viewed the Rip and Roll posters as inappropriate.
"I think the more we advertise sex in our public spaces, the more younger people are thinking about sex," she said.