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Boobs dressed up as Freedom of Expression

20 August 2008

Boobs dressed up as Freedom of Expression

Where do we draw the line for commercial enterprises to block our streets for the afternoon with mobile advertising billboards, such as “Boobs on Bikes”, questions the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ).

NCWNZ does not agree with Judge Mathers decision to reject the Auckland City Council’s bid for an injunction, particularly as this has set a precedent for other centres such as Wellington and Christchurch to host this type of commercial advertising campaign.

“Parades are customarily reserved for special celebrations, important dates, cultural performance or to raise awareness on the issues,” says Christine Low, NCWNZ National President. “Boobs on Bikes does not qualify as a ‘parade’, rather it is mobile advertising for strip bars.”

The decision by Judge Mathers arguably opens the doors to our streets being shut down for “Parades of slot machines”, to promote gambling, “Parades of liquor stores or alcohol manufacturers wares”, to promote drinking, “Parades of cigarette brands”, to promote smoking, or “Parades of fast-food chains”, to promote obesity.

“Elected Officials, such as City Council members should have the right to make decisions in the best interest of the community; that is what Auckland City Council attempted to do,” says Christine Low. “Councils should be supported in placing limits on advertising that disrupts movement through the streets, forces mothers and their children to remain at home, feeds sexualisation of women and girls and causes visual offence.”

“The high attendance at the event, which Judge Mathers cited as a mark of support, is in fact the predictable allure of getting a freeby,” says Christine Low. “Kiwis love ‘freebies’! The people who will attend today are not making a stand for freedom of expression; they are there to get a freeby look at boobs. Let’s not attach some higher cause to what is actually taking place – business advertising and a freeby.”

“Boobs on bikes should not be allowed to be dressed up as ‘freedom of expression’ – it is purely business advertising directed at getting bums on seats. So get off our streets and advertise in the same manner as every other business in New Zealand is limited to,” concludes Christine Low.


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