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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).

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

The Court’s decision 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.

“The high attendance at the event, which was cited as a mark of support, is in fact the predictable allure of getting a freebie,” 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 freebie look at boobs. Let’s not attach some higher cause to what is actually taking place; it is just business advertising and a freebie.”

“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 and encourages the sexualisation of women and girls.”

“‘Boobs on bikes’ should not be allowed to be dressed up as ‘freedom of expression’ – it is purely business advertising that appeals to the dark side of society that revels in exploitation. 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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