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The NZ Herald is reporting that a billboard containing the tag line “Would you rather watch porn with your Mum or your sister?” has been removed after vociferous objections from sections of the population. Isn’t that amazing: no government interference, no need for the Advertising Standards Authority, just the free market at work. In other words, DB/Dominion Breweries is looking after their profits by responding to public protests, and this shows that the profit motive so maligned by Marxists actually controls behaviour.
Bob McCoskrie of Family First says
“This is a billboard which will be seen by many people including children and families,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It is offensive to many, and ignores the harm that pornography is doing in our community and the contribution it makes to family breakdown, addiction, aggressive sexual behavior, sex role stereotyping, and viewing people simply as sexual objects.”
I have a lot of time for Bob, but here I disagree with him. He’s making a pyramid out of a pimple, and I’m struggling to see the pimple. This is a billboard with a slightly nonsensical tag line that isn’t doing any actual harm: if the tag line was “Drink lots of this alcohol then go and rape your sister” then I might go along with a statement like Bob’s*.
Bob also says
Family First NZ is calling on a pre-vetting of all billboards with a committee that has specialists who understand the effect of sexual and offensive billboards on children and families and will advocate for their protection.
Why would anyone in their right mind invite more censorship**? We should be getting rid of the Advertising Standards Authority, not bringing in yet more laws: if Bob or anyone else doesn’t like a billboard they are free to start a campaign, as has happened in this case.
I do not like going down the street and seeing advertising that depicts naked ladies (or men for that matter). However, it is grossly unjust when the state can control what a company does with its advertising, that is, control what a company does with its own money. We should get rid of the Advertising Standards Authority and let the free market control advertising: as we have seen, this mechanism works very well.
What do you think about the billboard and the points that I have made?
If you want to see a truly “offensive” billboard click here.
* even then the billboard would not violate the non-aggression axiom so classical liberalists would not object to it per se. Remember that simply advocating rape not make the billboard owner responsible for the actions of those feral animals who followed the advice given on the billboard. If you see a McDonalds billboard, lust after their hamburgers, then go and purchase one you are responsible for that decision: McDonalds is in no way responsible your “poverty”, obesity, etc. It’s no different when the billboard advertises drunken rape. At a personal level I would of course find a billboard advocating rape objectionable, but that is another matter entirely.
** the Advertising Standards Authority is a censorship body, it just censors after the fact rather than before it