Paul McCarthy Photoshopped in to cover the offending word on a Wicked Van spotted in Byron in 2016. Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News
Paul McCarthy Photoshopped in to cover the offending word on a Wicked Van spotted in Byron in 2016. Photo Christian Morrow / Byron Shire News Christian Morrow

How to get offensive Wicked vans off the road

BYRON Bay grandfather Paul McCarthy predicts the Wicked vans will be out in full force this Easter long weekend.

"Every van he (the business owner) has got will be on the road this Easter weekend," he said.

"I'd say that's what's happened with this van (the one spotted in Ballina this week), it's probably been in the back lot, hasn't been changed and he's whipped it onto the road, who cares."

Mr McCarthy said he has received a number of calls in recent days after the Northern Star's article about an offensive van sighting in Ballina.

"That one was particularly bad and the response I've had is people ringing me saying, 'what do you think?'. I said, 'well they shouldn't be on the road'," he said.

"How he has got this one on the road again, I don't know."

"I think he just likes pushing the envelope because he is going to get a lot of free advertising for Wicked vans.

"Every now and again I think he is going to just sneak one through."

However, Mr McCarthy said this was the first van he had seen or heard about in the last 12 months after the Queensland Government legislated they would de-register any van the Advertising Standards Bureau deemed inappropriate.

"I always stop and read the slogans, none of them have been misogynistic, they have all been changed back to what they were years ago, really funny," Mr McCarthy said.

"He even offers clean skins now.

"We've had a win with them but it is amazing how they keep creeping back."

If you see a Wicked van that displays an offensive slogan, Mr McCarthy said there were options for people to get them off the road.

"When you see them on the road, jot down their number plate," Mr McCarthy said.

"You'll probably find the van is registered in Queensland, ring the Advertising Standards Bureau and they cancel the registration.

"His company is registered in Brisbane, there's nothing registered in NSW."

Here's some of the reactions to the Wicked van spotted in Ballina last weekend:

Verity Pearse wrote: "The sayings on these vans are repulsive and vulgar. I am no angel but surely our children do not need to witness these vans driving around in public."

Susannah French said children are a precious part of society and should not be exposed to such language.

"Not everything is about adult entertainment and their idea of 'humour'," Ms French said.

"I believe it be be inappropriate and negligent that these slogans are not subject to censorship."

Robyn Hargrave described the tags as low level lazy humour.

"They are supposed to be humorous but good clever humour has nothing to do with humiliation or offence."

F-J Moss said stuff political correctness - "I saw them as a child but my parents raised me well enough to know they're not serious or to be taken seriously nor are they purposefully designed for offence or hatred."

"Take responsibility for your own children and ensure they know better and then this whole thing isn't an issue!" Mr Moss said.

While Anthony Ross said it is all meant to be in good humour.

"Too many PC people with nothing better to do than run other people's lives seem to get all the press nowadays, closet communism," Mr Ross said.