Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has been forced to admit it doesn’t own the term “Lambassador” after ordering Cory Bernadi to stop using the phrase in his political advertising.
During a hearing in the senate, MLA managing director Richard Norton admitted "Lambassador" may not be the intellectual property of the organisation.
The political ad that MLA is objecting features former brand ambassador Sam Kekovich endorsing the Australian Conservatives.
Kekovich fronted the infamous MLA Australia Day ads for a decade and the ex-sports star was very much known as the ‘Lambassador’. MLA initially argued it owned the IP of the terminology, but has now backtracked.
Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi spoke to Ben Fordham on 2GB and said the court case was "crazy".
“Sam Kekovich agreed to do an ad because he supports the Australian Conservatives and what we’re trying to do for the nation," he said.
“Then, the MLA, instead of giving me a call and having a chat with me about it, sent me a legal letter saying they’re going to sue me.
“They’re going to sue me because apparently, they’re going to lose their funding, they own the intellectual property and I didn’t ask permission to Sam Kekovich.”
Bernardi said MLA did not own the ‘lambassador’ terminology and made no indication it would pull the ad that says ‘The Lambassador supports the Australian Conservatives” and pictures Kekovich.
He also signalled his intent to get the ad to run on TV, setting up a donation page to cover the costs.
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