APN refuses to run two ads for Aboriginal Victoria's Treaty campaign 'Deadly Questions'

DPC0024_0130210_Treaty_Tullamarine Fwy Wilson_1984x256px_ROUND 1_V01_insitu[2].jpgTwo executiuons in Aboriginal Victoria's campaign in support of Australia's first-ever treaty legislation, Deadly Questions, has been deemed too controversial to run by one of Australia's leading outdoor media providers, APN Media.

The online platform Deadly Questions, created by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, provides a safe space for people to ask questions and have them answered by Aboriginal Victorians, to learn more about their cultures, and the purpose, value and process of Treaty.
DPC0024_0247508_Treaty_Eastlink Fwy_1248x320px_ROUND 1_V01_insitu[2].jpgActing on advice from the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), APN Media has refused to run two of seven executions in the campaign, which features a series of questions drawn directly from Victorians via the Deadly Questions website. Guidance from theDPC0024_0307102_Treaty_Western Link_1584x368px_ROUND 1_V01 2_insitu[3][1].jpg OMA was that the creative could be deemed to be discriminatory according to the AANA's code of ethics.

Says APN Outdoor Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, James Warburton: "When the ads in question were submitted to us, we referred them to
the Outdoor Media Association which in turn referred them to the Advertising Standards Bureau, which is usual practice. The ASB advised that two of the ads might be in breach of the industry's code of ethics. This information was conveyed to the agency that created the ads."

A source familiar with what happened says that when APN told Clemenger BBDO that two of the seven ads it had created could be in breach, it cancelled all of the ad bookings with APN.
"So really, the fact the ads are not running comes down to Clemenger, not APN", says this source. "Oddly, when JCDecaux also raised concerns about the two ads that the ASB said could be in breach, Clemenger did not pull the other ads from JCDecaux."

A spokesperson for Aboriginal Victoria commented that the irony of the decision wasn't lost on Aboriginal Victoria and its members.

"Deadly Questions is a pivotal moment for Aboriginal Victorians. We've invited members of the community to participate in an open forum to help break down the barriers between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members of the community as we continue on our journey to Treaty.

"We understand that some of the questions asked by the public - and that we are repeating in the campaign - are provocative, but that's the point.  To have an open discussion we need to acknowledge that some ugly viewpoints exist.

"We need our media partners to stand up and support Aboriginal Victorians throughout this process. It's incredibly disappointing to have APN and the OMA dictate what they think is appropriate with regards to discrimination, when these questions are ones that we invited, are providing responses to, and represent the real conversation that Victorians want to have."

The outdoor media campaign will continue via oOH! Media and, CB understands, JCDecaux.

Says Simon Lamplough, managing director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne: "The campaign was developed in partnership with Aboriginal Victorians and the Treaty Working Group to provide a platform that encourages discussion amongst all Victorians about the issue of Treaty. Our brief was to change perceptions and create work with cultural impact.

"We're very grateful that oOh! Media has come to the rescue and agreed to help facilitate this important conversation."

Victorians can continue to ask their Deadly Questions at Deadly Questions.

The Treaty bill has passed through the Lower House of Victorian Government and is expected to be debated in the Upper House in June.

10 Comments

Whitey said:

Piss weak, APN.

Bad decision said:

Nice one APN, casual racism is a sure fire way to lose all you State government revenue.

Dear APN said:

Maybe spend less time congratulating Cannes Outdoor winners who have never used your billboards and more time getting your own backyard in order.

Greidy said:

Now that's ugly.

Dear APN, said:

You've just discriminated against a creative supporting the discriminated peoples by using "could be deemed to be discriminatory" as an excuse. DO YOU SEE THE F%$@ING IRONY! DO YOU!

Fury said:

APN, I hope you get a world of PR hurt for this. It's backwards and straight up racist. oOH just won big in the eyes of the industry.

really? said:

APN, this is a terrible decision.
Your company is the one looking bad here and you have somehow made Clemenger like the hero? Hard job to achieve but you have done it!

Septa Unella said:

Shame! Shame! Shame!

Outraged lol said:

They own the billboards. They have the right to say no. Deal with it. The questions are a bunch of shit anyway.

can't hurt said:

Surely this is the point of this campaign? It's all good PR.

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