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Foxtelís bestiality billboard is last straw: industry must be regulated

By Lyle Shelton - posted Thursday, 2 May 2013


Princeton ethicist Peter Singer, recently awarded our nation’s highest honour, thinks bestiality is fine.

Perhaps that is why Foxtel knew it could get away with purchasing a billboard in Kings Cross featuring a man simulating sex with a pig.

If ethics is so confused that its teachers have no moral compass, why should we be surprised a large company seeks to cash in on the controversy it knows it will generate by advertising in this manner?

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There was no ethical consideration by Foxtel of the mental health effects on children of being exposed to something like this, let alone that of adults.

But because outdoor advertising in Australia is self-regulated, Dracula is in charge of the blood bank and Foxtel knew it could pull this outrageous stunt without penalty.

Foxtel’s promise to remove its bestiality billboard – just hours after ACL’s Wendy Francis was interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald online - is too little too late and highlights the on-going appalling failure of self-regulation.

It is high time all governments around Australia acted to clean up this industry and imposed heavy penalties for breaches.

For years outdoor advertisers have flouted community standards and shown contempt to parents and the innocence of childhood with ever more sexualised content.

There have been multiple parliamentary inquiries into this and other issues affecting the sexualisation of children in the contemporary media but no action taken.

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The exception is in Queensland where the Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie has committed the government to acting after yet another review.

The Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry shouldn’t need too much more persuading after this latest outrage.

It is time for all governments around Australia to act and for the nonsense of industry self-regulation to end.

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About the Author

Lyle Shelton is Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby based in Canberra.

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