Transport on NSW Ban Voiceless’ Kangaroo Bus Ads



Recently, Transport for NSW has banned the ad about cruelty to kangaroos. It said the ad was too political and potentially distressing for children.

Voiceless, the animal protection institute, had planned to put the ads on Sydney buses as well as billboards at Sydney railway stations, aimed at getting Australians to become more aware of the kangaroos. The ads were banned despite having approval from the Outdoor Media Association, the peak national industry body that represents most of Australia’s outdoor media display companies. However, the campaign will instead be launched across billboard campaigns, showing an image of a kangaroo and her joey with the words “Their fate is in your hands”.

Transport for NSW told Voiceless that the authority had not seen the ads in question but had concerns about the content on the Voiceless website. On the other hand, Voiceless head of communications Elise Burgess told AdNews the organisation was surprised by the ban.

“Given the soft nature of the imagery used in our ads, Voiceless was shocked that it resulted in a last minute veto from Transport for NSW. Especially when considering that similar, if not more graphic, ads have been displayed on NSW buses with no complaint in the recent past,” she says. “The point of our campaign is to raise awareness about an industry and its illegal practices that many Australians do not know about. Every year millions of kangaroos and joeys are slaughtered for the commercial trade with little question about the methods, which are brutal, such as the bludgeoning or decapitation of joeys.”

A Transport for NSW spokesperson stated that as contract buses are publicly funded, there are standards in place that restrict the display of “political or similar matter, or advertising that may offend”. Recently, the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) banned an outdoor ad placed at a bus stop for Lion Cider. The organisation is currently pushing for further legislative restrictions on all outdoor advertising.