Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Facebook protest gets Australian pro-safe sex ads restored

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Men embracing at “Rip & Roll” counter-protest
Men embracing at “Rip & Roll” counter-protest

I do love news like this. Only yesterday did I blog about how the Australian Christian Lobby, a typically prudish pearl-clutching group, was able to raise enough of a hissy fit over a new pro-sexual protection ad campaign featuring two men embracing and holding an unopened condom wrapper to get the ads yanked. But while the advertizing company caved in after only 30 complaints, the move created enough outrage, including a massive Facebook counter-protest, that about 40,000 Aussies made their voices heard and convinced the advertizing company to cancel its cancellation of the ads [my emphasis]:

MORE than 35,000 people have joined a "Rip and Roll'' Facebook support group after their safe sex advertisement targeting gay men was pulled down from Brisbane bus stops because of 30 complaints.

The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities started the group after Adshel - the company that provides advertising for Brisbane's bus shelters - buckled after pressure from the Christian lobby and removed the ad featuring an image of a gay couple embracing, holding an unopened red condom packet.

The "Homophobia - NOT HERE - Adshel Caves to Homophobic Pressure'' Facebook campaign has generated a big public response after Michael James who appeared in the ad with his partner asked the public to join their petition.


A group of about 20 people gathered outside Adshell’s office on Agnes St in Fortitude Valley this afternoon, chanting “equal rights, equal love, equal people”.

The organiser of the protest, Michael O’Brien, said a Facebook event advertising the protest was set up about 8pm last night.


The protest drew immediate results, with Adshel this afternoon reversing its decision to pull the ads.

Of course, as heartening (and schadenfreudelicious) as this turn of events is, it could never realistically happen in the Unites States, especially in anywhere near the Bible Belt. Any advert featuring a gay couple (!) kissing (!!) while holding a condom (!!!) would never see the light of day, and even if it somehow did, the fundamentalist move against it would undoubtedly garner hundreds or even thousands of pearl-clutching voices of protest that no pro-LGBT counter-protest could really match.

Oh, well. Baby steps, I suppose.

(via Uzza's Notes)