Aussie brothel sparks outrage over 'blinding' X-rated billboards

Calls are mounting for the advertisements to be taken off the road.

WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES: A brothel's bright billboards mounted to the back of a truck are under investigation after complaints over their graphic nature and the threat they pose to motorists.

Angry Melburnians have criticised adult venue Gotham City over the moving ads, with one woman questioning if they are even legal. "I was driving close to 12am behind this monstrosity, which felt blinding whenever we passed it," she said online.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, a spokesperson for Ad Standards said they'd already received multiple complaints against the company involved over the "overtly sexual" nature of the billboards and confirmed they were investigating the ads.

In photos included in the woman's post, the truck can be seen in Melbourne traffic, with brightly lit screens taking up its entire rear and right-hand side. The screens display different images of women in lingerie advertising a local brothel.

Brothel mobile billboards in Melbourne traffic
The brothel's graphic mobile billboards have angered Aussie motorists. Source: Reddit

The motorist later explained that she'd reported the vehicle to police, but was told no action would be taken. "The police said they really wouldn't follow up on a billboard that was too bright," she wrote, before urging others to try to report it as well.

'Will send punters off the road'

Fellow motorists condemned the advertisements, with one describing them as "basically pornography driving around Melbourne" that "burned my retinas".

"Hurts my eyes looking at it in a photo, I couldn't imagine driving behind it, I'd legit need my sunglasses on," another driver wrote. "They're distracting enough as a pedestrian, I couldn't imagine what it's like seeing one driving around," another added. "Good Lord, that will send a few punters off the road," someone else said.

Other locals said they'd been shocked to see the same mobile billboards being driven toward a school as children were arriving, and parked near where kids walked home.

Brothel's ads already under scrutiny

Ad Standards "has received a small number of complaints about Gotham City mobile billboards," the organisation's spokesperson told Yahoo. "The complaints are concerned that the imagery in the advertising is overtly sexual and not appropriate for a broad audience.

"Ad Standards accepts complaints about ads that may be in breach of the AANA Code of Ethics. The Code applies to all advertising and covers a range of issues like language, violence, sexual appeal, nudity, and health and safety."

What the law says

Lights are "not to be used to dazzle other road users" according to Victoria's Road Safety Rules. "A driver must not use, or allow to be used, any light fitted to or in the driver's vehicle to dazzle, or in a way that is likely to dazzle, another road user," the 2017 act reads. Breaching the law would result in three penalty units, equating to a fine of $577.

Additionally, a motorist must not "drive a vehicle that has a television receiver or visual display unit in or on the vehicle operating while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked, if any part of the image on the screen is likely to distract another driver". The penalty is 10 units, which would equal a $1,923 fine.

Yahoo News Australia reached out to Gotham City brothel for a statement but hadn't received a response at the time of publication, while Victoria Police declined to comment on the matter.

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