Z Energy considers banning Wicked Campers from petrol stations

Z Energy considers banning Wicked Campers from petrol stations

Wicked Campers is facing mounting pressure to remove offensive slogans from its vehicles, and the latest idea is aimed at taking the wind out their sails, so to speak.

Z Energy is considering banning Wicked Campers from using its petrol stations around the country, but that has some questioning if it is even possible.

Wicked Campers is running low on public support and could soon be running low on petrol if Z Energy's proposal comes to fruition.

Z asked its Facebook followers if it should ban the campers from filling up at its stations.

"We've had a lot of people think it's a good idea, a smaller number who think it's a very bad idea," says Z Energy chief executive Mike Bennetts.

The mixed responses include those asking whether a petrol company should be acting as the morality police.

We are simply listening to our customers for whatever they have to say, and if enough customers say 'We don't like you doing that', then it's up to us as a large, responsible company to listen to what they're saying," says Mr Bennetts.

Z Energy has already sought legal advice and says it has the right to refuse service to anyone, though says there could be complex issues around human rights.

Critics say the idea is simply a publicity stunt.

"How are they going to enforce this? On the forecourt, if they're a community friendly, service-orientated brand, do they want to be having men in orange jackets having showdowns with Wicked Campers drivers about not serving them," says Brandology founder Nick Baylis.

Wicked Campers already faces various restrictions around the country from tourism operators.

The Tourism Industry Association has applauded Z Energy's proposal, but says real change will only come from customers rejecting Wicked Camper's approach.

"Either refusing to book with Wicked or refusing to use the vans with the most offensive slogans. So when the customer walks away and goes somewhere else, I think that's when we're going to see a real impact," says Tourism Industry Association Christopher Roberts.

Z Energy will deliberate over the coming days, but a more immediate impact will likely be a decision from the Chief Censor due early next week following nine complaints about the offensive slogans

The censor has the power to decide whether to restrict, or ban the offensive slogans entirely.