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Foxtelís bestiality billboard is last straw: industry must be regulated

By Lyle Shelton - posted Thursday, 2 May 2013


Despite admitting its billboard was a “lapse of judgement”, Foxtel is being helped to cash in on the controversy by Fairfax Media.

Fairfax Media should immediately stop running advertising for Studio 132 and Foxtel alongside its online articles which detail the public outrage at Foxtel.

It is bad enough that Foxtel almost certainly purchased this billboard with the full intention of getting free publicity out of the inevitable controversy, but now Fairfax Media is complicit by running advertisements for the very program alongside articles criticising it.

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There seems to be no limit to the ends to which our media is prepared to debase itself in the pursuit of profit.

If Fairfax Media is at all serious about its article’s criticisms of Foxtel, it should not be lamely complicit in providing the advertising they always sought.

Where is the Advertising Standards Board in the midst of all this? Asleep at the wheel seems to be the answer.

Australians have to decide whether or not we wish to live in a civil society. It is time we pushed back on the incursion into our lives of outrageous and damaging imagery peddled by the pornography industry and now mainstreamed by the advertising industry.

The mark of a civil society is how it cares for its young.

Foxtel’s reckless action in exposing children to a bestiality image can only be described as a form of child abuse.

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That they will get away with it is a scandal for which politicians who have ignored calls to regulate outdoor advertising should be ashamed.

I hope Peter Singer would be just as appalled as we are at Foxtel’s exposing children to this image. However, when we honour people like Singer without qualification, we have to realise that their ideas have consequences.

Foxtel’s appalling action is a logical outworking of the mainstreaming of bestiality by people like Singer.

Groups like ACL are often criticised for warning about the slippery slope but Foxtel has given us and our children a glimpse of where Singer’s slope might take us.

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About the Author

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

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