ABC reported on Jun 1:
Ad company Adshel has reinstated a safe sex campaign for gay couples after it became clear a barrage of complaints about the ads were orchestrated by the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL).
The bus shelter poster campaign spruiking the message "rip and roll", features a gay couple hugging while holding a condom packet.
The offending ads were taken down from around Brisbane yesterday after Adshel, Brisbane City Council and the Advertising Standards Bureau received 30 complaints about the ads.
But the ads' removal also caused an uproar on social media sites, with many furious the posters were brought down.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Adshel said many of the complaints were part of an ACL campaign, and that it has reinstated the ads.
"It has now become clear Adshel has been the target of a coordinated ACL campaign," Adshel chief executive Steve McCarthy said.
"This has led us to review our decision to remove the campaign, and we will therefore reinstate the campaign with immediate effect."
Read full story on ABC here.
Queensland Association for Healthy Communities:
Rip & Roll - Queenslanders Stand Up to Australian Christian Lobby
Media Release 1st June 2011
Healthy Communities Welcomes the Return of ‘Rip & Roll’ and Thanks Our Supporters
Healthy Communities welcomes the decision of Adshel to reinstate the ‘Rip & Roll’ campaign to bus shelters across Brisbane with immediate effect.
In a statement released today, Adshel CEO Steve McCarthy stated “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.”
“We thank Adshel for coming to the correct decision and look forward to working with them in this and future sexual health campaigns” said Paul Martin, Healthy Communities Executive Director.
“We’d also like to thank the tens of thousands of supporters who lent their voice, mainly via Facebook and Twitter, to getting the adverts reinstated. Special appreciation must also go to Michael and his partner who appear in the advert and have been such great advocates for the gay community.”
“The response to the removal of the campaign shows that the overwhelming majority of Queenslanders support the need for sexual health promotion, support the gay community and reject stigma and discrimination.”
Complaints about the ‘Rip & Roll’ campaign are still to be assessed by the Advertising Standards Bureau in the coming week.
Healthy Communities executive director: Campaign to have the ads removed was about trying to have gay people "erased from the public sphere"
Healthy Communities executive director Paul Martin said it was disheartening that Adshel had buckled so quickly to the complaints and the response to the Facebook page had shown the people who complained were in the "extreme minority”.
"Those of us who have been around fighting HIV in Queensland for a while will remember this kind of reaction from days gone by. We certainly don't expect it in 2011." Martin was quoted as saying on news.com.au.
He said the campaign to have the ads removed was about trying to have gay people "erased from the public sphere".