Milkshakes and sharks: Australian government's 'bizarre' consent video campaign ridiculed

Sex education experts and rape prevention agencies have slammed a new campaign produced by the Australian government due to its "bizarre" messaging around consent. 

More than 350 videos, podcasts and teaching resources were launched this week on the Good Society website designed to teach Aussie children and teens about sex. 

One video called 'Moving the line' has been highlighted as particularly confusing. In the clip, a teenage girl encourages her boyfriend to try her milkshake, before smearing it over his face. 

"This is what we call moving the line," the video's narrator explains. 

"When a person imposes their will on you, it's as if they were moving the 'yes' line over the 'maybe zone' or the end zone, ignoring your rich inner world and violating your individual freedoms and rights. 

"Moving the line is at least disrespectful and at worst abusive."

As SBS highlights, the perpetrator in this video is female, despite the fact 97 percent of sexual assault offenders recorded by police during 2018-2019 were men.  

In another video, a girl scared to swim at the beach because of sharks is supposed to represent being afraid to have sex because of STDs and pregnancy. 

None of the videos in the programme use the words "sex" or "rape" as part of the messaging. 

The clips have been widely ridiculed on Twitter, with podcast host Eddy Jokovich writing: "Many to choose from, but that is about the worst government media campaign I've ever seen." 

Guardian Australia reporter Matilda Boseley tweeted she thinks she might "actually know less about the issue after watching this". 

"Like, teenagers are aware of what sex is? You can just say sex. Surely you would think that when trying to stop people from committing rape and sexual assault, we could just use the words."

Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek told ABC the campaign was a "wasted opportunity".

"This is a moment in Australian history where people are crying out for better consent education for our young people and across our community," Plibersek said.

"Once again we have a government with an advertising-led response and they haven't even got the advertising right."

End Rape on Campus Australia founder Sharna Bremner added she was "was torn between wanting to laugh at them or being generally horrified". 

"These aren't videos that speak to any of the serious issues we need people to be discussing."

In contrast, a campaign aimed at keeping kids safe online produced by the New Zealand Government last year was praised internationally for its messaging around pornography and consent. 

In the 'Keep it Real' video, two porn actors show up at a surprised mum's house to inform her that her son just looked them up online. 

"We usually perform for adults, but your son's just a kid - he might not know actually how relationships work. We don't even talk about consent do we? We just get straight to it," the actors cheerfully inform the mother in the clip. 

Twitter users praised the ad as being "brilliant".