A handful of the complaints that prompted advertising company Adshel to remove a safe sex billboard from areas around Brisbane have been turned into a short film on Your Tube (below).
The film, written by Paul Ayre, uses actual comments under a story on the advertisement scandal that appeared in the Brisbane Times this week.
“On the 1st of June, a small group of people from the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) decided to focus a ‘grass roots’ campaign to remove an ad promoting safe sex from bus shelters in Queensland. AdShel, the campaign creator bowed to the pressure of 80 complaints, many copied and pasted from a template sent out by figureheads in the ACL,” the prose under the video states.
“Under the guise of ‘please think about the children’, a series of homophobic rants were found in the complaints – some of which are included here verbatim (about 80-90%). 10% we added because we thought they were funny – the fun part is guessing what’s real and what isn’t.
“It’s unfortunate these people use the banner of “Christianity” to promote hate. Most modern Christians have accepted the homophobic aspects of the bible as misguided relics from a society gone by – Like stoning, slavery and the whole ‘world being flat’ thing. Unfortunately, there are a minority in Australia that wield these like weapons and give Christians a bad name.
“I don’t like that. You don’t get to do that any more. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality, you will grow out of it and then realise you had nothing to fear, and that your life hasn’t changed in the slightest.”
Adshel have reinstated the safe sex campaign yesterday following Australian Christian Lobby Queensland director Wendy Francis’ acknowledgement that the complaints received by Adshel, Brisbane City Council and the Advertising Standards Bureau regarding the campaign had been orchestrated by the Australian Christian Lobby
“Adshel earlier responded to a series of complaints by removing the campaign from its media panels yesterday. None of the complaints indicated any liaison with the ACL, so Adshel was made to believe that they originated from individual members of the public,” a newly issued statement on its website read.
“It has now become clear that Adshel has been the target of a coordinated ACL campaign. This has led us to review our decision to remove the campaign and we will therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect,” Adshel CEO Steve McCarthy said.
There had been broad community outrage at the earlier decision by Adshel to remove posters for the Queensland Association of Healthy Communities (QAHC) campaign encouraging safe sex.
National spokeswoman for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Shelly Argent OAM, said the advert was not obscene or crude in any manner, it was just sending a message about safe sex practice.
“As a parent and national spokesperson for PFLAG which is an international family support group, I am very angry and disappointed about the Christian Lobby’s complaint about the ‘Rip n Roll’ campaign and its withdrawal from public view,” she said.
“If my son was young and just coming out, I, as a parent, would be wanting him to be informed and confident enough to seek information that would assist him to keep the risk of STI’s and HIV minimised, and this advert would have been a very helpful as a safe sex message.”
Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser said complaints about the ad were “homophobic” while Liberal National Party MP David Gibson said on Twitter that he wasn’t offended by the ad, but supports Adshel’s right to pull the campaign.