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Open letter to the Joint Managing Directors of GOA Advertising
Dear Mr Chris Tyquin and Mr John Tyquin.
As you are aware, your company refused to allow me to advertise on your billboards despite my ad having no vulgarity, violence, innuendo, partial nudity or sexual connotations. Yet at the same time you allow ads featuring all of these things on many of your other billboards to be seen anytime by vulnerable, innocent children of all ages. It is a fact that much of what you allow on your billboards would not be allowed to be shown in children’s timeslots on television yet being in the outdoors, they have full access to this material.
You should be aware that I have heard from well over a thousand parents who find many messages and images on your billboards not only offensive but irresponsible and damaging to the minds of young children. These images and messages are seen and read by children aged 3, 6, 9, 12, 13 or 15. They are seeing pictures of semi naked people in sexual poses and reading phrases like “Join now for Fox Sake” and “Get Shucked”. While parents can set boundaries for their children inside the home they cannot outside. You hold the power to set those boundaries – I know you do because you chose to set the boundaries in regard to my proposed ad (which you censored and banned). You may be happy for your children to see these images and if so that’s your right as a parent. Your sales person who dealt with me told me that he was not concerned with his children seeing the type of material seen on the Sexpo ad and again, that is his right as a parent. I am not going to judge your or his fitness as parents. However I – and thousands like me – are not happy or comfortable with this and you should not be able to force us or our children to view these images or read these words. We have the same right not to be bombarded with these images and to protect our children as you do, except we have no choice.
In response you may attempt to make a stand against ‘censorship’. Yet you have censored me. I did not ask for free advertising – I was prepared to spend $10,000 with your company. I acknowledge that this is not much money in the scheme of what you must earn out of displaying these sexually explicit billboards but for me that is a significant outlay. Why won’t you allow me to advertise? Are you concerned that quite possibly many others think just like me?
I am not asking you to stop doing business and I am not suggesting you don’t have the right to run a profitable company (making a profit is your core value according to your website). Furthermore my proposed ad did not mention or criticise your company or even billboard advertising. It merely stated “Let’s make the outdoors G rated”. Why is that offensive?
You apparently commented to a media outlet today that my proposed ad somehow was against your company. If you are against making the outdoors an environment for families and children what does this say about your company? I can’t believe you would advocate an environment that harms children. I respectfully suggest you seriously look at your creativity as there are so many ways to be clever without being vulgar.
I believe the majority of Australians not only agree with me, but respect companies that make a stand for what is right. I am asking you today to do the following:
1) Join me and support me in my quest to support parents across Australia.
2) Allow me to advertise on your billboards – this exact campaign (with no alterations)
3) Set a higher standard for your advertising.
If you do these things I believe you will gain not only increased profits but greater integrity. And in the end, what is more important?
MEMBERSHIP – Get involved today!
FAMILY FIRST PERSPECTIVES – HERE
There are 3 platforms that provide recurring impetus for my every effort:
The first key platform is protecting children:
…especially on our streets as they are bombarded by popular culture…
I believe our public spaces should be G rated as they are accessible by all.
I have never before seen the level of advertising pollution that we are now experiencing. This is seen on TV, on radio, on the side of buses and in billboard advertising. Our children are being bombarded with explicit images and concepts.
I am not talking about censorship, I am talking about protecting our children.
I plan in the near future to host a “Public Space” summit with groups who are interested in changing the standards of outdoor advertising to talk about a combined strategy to change the Advertising Standards Board.
Any strong nation protects the vulnerable and the innocent. Many talk of personal rights, yet often when a right isgiven a responsibility has been removed. We must never lose sight of our responsibility to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We must protect our children.
The second key platform is supporting families
I believe we should bring equality to child care payments. Every child in Australia is in child care – either by their own parent or by someone else. In fact over 70% of infants are cared for at home. Child care payments do not reflect this.
To reflect the high value of marriage in our nation we could give tax deductibility for attending marriage and parenting courses.
Every relevant piece of legislation should be accompanied by a Family Impact Statement.
The third key platform is strengthening a nation
Strong families = a strong nation.