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.
Online platform Deadly Questions 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.
Acting on advice from the Outdoor Media Association (OMA), APN Media has refused to run advertising for the campaign, which features a series of questions drawn directly from Victorians via the Deadly Questions website.
Guidance from the OMA was that the creative could be deemed to be discriminatory according to the AANA’s code of ethics.
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 thanks to oOH! Media agreeing to run the creative in lieu of APN.
Clemenger BBDO Melbourne MD Simon Lamplough added, “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.