Wicked Campers asleep at the wheel

22 March 2016

The owners of Wicked Campers are making a huge mistake by refusing media interviews on the publicity around their van slogans.

All they are doing is giving all the limelight to their detractors and failing to even state their point of view. Meanwhile, more and more camping grounds in New Zealand will turn them away. The sight of their vans will be bad for their own reputations.

Clearly Wicked Campers target a specific group of people. On their website they say they are the hire company for “Sick people and their sick friends.” This target group may like the slogans, but they wont want to hire a Wicked Camper if it means they get turned away from a growing number of camping grounds in NZ.

What should Wicked Campers do?

Firstly, they need to front up. At the very least, it would balance up the coverage. At the moment, the coverage couldn’t be any worse. So many people complain about unbalanced media coverage, but they have no-one to blame but themselves if they refuse to contribute to the debate.

They may feel the media would be ‘out to get them’, But if they had effective media training, they would know how to get their message through. There are also tactics to avoid the fear of being quoted out of context. This includes agreeing to live interviews only.

What should their message be?

This is something for them to decide. But I personally can’t see a future for them in New Zealand if they don’t agree to tone down some of their slogans because no-one will accept their vans. They will probably be censored to some degree as well unless they get on the front foot and make some changes themselves. And remember its only some of the slogans that offend.

So my three points at first glance would be something like: 1 “We understand why some people find them offensive,” 2 “We are going to get rid of the highly offensive slogans,” (And how) 3 “We want a balance between entertaining our clients with the slogans and not offending others.”

Time will tell how this plays out.

For more on my media training workshops, contact or 029 200 8555.

Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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