via QAHC website
Media Release: 31st May 2011
Adshel Gives in to Homophobic Pressure and Removes Gay Safe Sex Advertisements
Adshel, the company that provides advertising in bus shelters around Brisbane, has today given in to pressure from the Australian Christian Lobby and removed a safe sex campaign featuring a gay male couple.
Adshel, Goa Billboards (where the advert is also placed) and the Advertising Standards Bureau have received complaints from a clearly orchestrated campaign from a well organised minority to have the advertisements removed.
The advert has been released by the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities* (‘Healthy Communities’) as part of our Queensland Government funded HIV prevention and sexual health promotion work with gay men.
The ‘Rip & Roll’ advert features a gay male couple (fully clothed) in an affectionate embrace holding an unopened condom packet. The campaign logo “Rip & Roll” is featured with an unbranded condom in its packet. It is accompanied with the strap-line ‘A safe sex message from Healthy Communities’ and provides our web address and 1800 line.
“We are deeply disappointed by the behaviour of Adshel in removing the advertisements, without even notifying us and without proper reason” said Paul Martin, Executive Director of Healthy Communities.
“The advert is in no way explicit or offensive to the average Queenslander. The complaints claim that depictions of gay people and discussion of sexual health are not appropriate for the general community. We reject these claims outright.”
“2010 saw the highest number of people diagnosed with HIV than at any time since testing began in the mid 1980s. 65% of these diagnoses are among gay men. Now, more than ever, it is important that we get the safe sex message out to Queenslanders, particularly gay men, wherever they may be.”
“The advertisement is quite conservative when compared with other public advertisements for a range of commercial products and previous sexual health campaigns by the Australian and Queensland Governments.”
“The Australian Christian Lobby has used homophobia dressed up as protecting children to have an important public education campaign removed. ACL’s Queensland Director Wendy Francis has previously been criticised and forced to apologise for sending out a homophobic tweet likening gay marriage to ‘legalising child abuse’. They are now trying have gay people erased from the public sphere.”