Suggestive billboards “not out to offend anyone”

Appropriate or just distasteful? The billboard above the office of the Shadow Minister for Defence.

Appropriate or just distasteful? The billboard above the office of the Shadow Minister for Defence.

The reappearance of sexually suggestive billboards across the Gold Coast has raised concern that the standards for advertising are “out of control”, according to Assistant Minister for Child Safety Rob Molhoek yesterday.

The billboards by sex health company Advanced Medical Institute are not doing anything to “enhance family life, family values or the role of women in society”, Mr Molhoek said.

According to a 2008 media release by the Advertising Standards Board, all 120 of the AMI signs across Australia were removed in 2008, as they did not fit the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics.

The AANA code of ethics states “Advertising or Marketing Communications shall treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience”.

In a 2008 media release the AMI said “we’re not out to offend anyone”.

Federal Member for Fadden Stuart Robert said “If it is false and misleading which their original advertising was then it should be taken down”.

With regards to the altered billboards Mr Robert said “Freedom of speech means that anyone can put what they like on the billboard”.

But locals have expressed concern about the signs regarding the community.

Pastor of Southport church Metro Church and parent Kasey McDonald said that in spite of the medical side to the issue, advertisers ought to apply some “sensitivity in presentation”.

“A giant yellow and red sign screaming it through the neighbourhood is not ideal,” Mrs McDonald said.

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