Australia – from www.gladstoneobserver.com – IPSWICH’S controversial Sexpo billboard has been removed by owners Bishopp.
The billboard off Brisbane Road, Dinmore, was removed about 11am Thursday and will be relocated in coming days.
The billboard came under fire earlier this week, with people labelling it inappropriate and rude.
Sexpo organisers hit back saying Ipswich residents made up a large amount of their audience.
Sexpo general manager Rob Godwin said surveys from previous events showed most visitors came from the Gold Coast, with Ipswich running a close second.
He said the high Ipswich turnout showed many in the region would not have a problem with the advertisement, and said if it was in any other state, the billboard would have been even more provocative.
“I think the people of Ipswich should be proud of the billboard – everyone featured on the ad is from Queensland,” Mr Godwin said.
“Sex is a great, wonderful thing that should be celebrated instead of hidden away.
“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but compared to our billboard there are fashion ads and magazine covers out there that show a lot more skin.”
Sexpo, which bills itself as a “sexuality and adult lifestyle exhibition”, is the world’s largest adult show and last year attracted more than 5000 people to the Brisbane event.
While some of the exhibits have to be tamed down from the Sydney and Melbourne events because of Queensland laws, organisers are expecting another bumper crowd this year.
Along with exhibitors selling adult products, people can take in male and female strip acts and other entertainment at the event, which runs from March 4-7 at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre.
Former Brisbane girl turned LA-based porn actress Monica Mayhem, who features in the ad, will be a big drawcard according to organisers.
from www.qt.com.au – THE furore over Ipswich’s controversial Sexpo sign has led to the billboard’s owner tearing it down yesterday morning.
The controversy over the racy billboard hit national TV yesterday as the debate raged over whether it was too rude for its Brisbane Road site in Dinmore.
After talking to Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale yesterday morning, Bishopp Outdoor Advertising decided to remove the sign from its billboard.
Managing director Brad Bishopp said while he did not find the sign offensive, he pulled it down because of the negative reaction from sections of the Ipswich community.
“I spoke to the Mayor and he expressed to me the concerns some people had with the sign and its location,” Mr Bishopp said.
“I personally thought the sign was okay but we acknowledge people do have their concerns and we don’t want to put the community off-side.”
The billboard was only erected on Monday afternoon, but was removed by 11am yesterday.
Mr Bishopp said he had informed the agency which booked the sign, Ooh! Media, that it had been taken down, but said he had not spoken to Sexpo organisers directly.
He said the sign would be moved to a new location which has yet to be decided.
Sexpo general manager Rob Godwin was incensed the billboard was removed without his approval.
“I’ll be contacting my lawyers and fighting to have the billboard back up. I’m appalled they’ve taken this action when the billboard is under contract,” Mr Godwin said.
“It’s disappointing because the Advertising Standards Bureau has never upheld a complaint against us.”
Cr Pisasale said while Ipswich was not a “sea of prudes”, it was right to take the billboard down for residents who were offended by its content.
Porn actress Monica Mayhem – the former Brisbane resident who featured on the billboard – told The Queensland Times from Los Angeles she was disappointed with the negative reaction to the Sexpo sign.
“I do think it was a bit of an over-reaction. Really, in what way was the billboard harming anyone?” she said.
“I think people need to be a little more open-minded and stop sweating the small things in life.”
The Advertising Standards Bureau yesterday said it had received a number of complaints from Ipswich residents about the Sexpo sign.
Sexpo, a sexuality and adult lifestyle exhibition, is expected to attract 35,000 people.