'Remove this ad immediately': MLA’s religious lamb ad faces possible ban

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 5 September 2017

The latest Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) lamb campaign is already facing a possible ban by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) due to its portrayal of various religious leaders, AdNews can reveal.

The ad, released just yesterday, stars an L. Ron Hubbart look-a-like (founder of the Church of Scientology) as well as Jesus, an alien, a Buddhist and other gods and goddesses sat around a table enjoying a feast of lamb. Those in the Hindu community are most offended by the inclusion of Lord Ganesha.

The ASB has received around 30 complaints so far based on the part of the Code which covers discrimination and vilification on the grounds of religion.

One Facebook user says: "This is a disrespect to Hindu religion, hurting our sentiments and a senseless campaign. Your team has got it totally wrong by implying Lord Ganesha is having lamb at dinner table with other Gods. For your information, Hindu Gods and meat do not go together."

An American-based Hindu group has spoken out encouraging MLA to remove the ad and apologise to the Hindu community for associating its leader with "mercantile greed".

The ASB confirmed to AdNews it has received complaints overnight about the ad, however they have not yet been assessed.

boycott 2One Facebook user calls out MLA marketer Andrew Howie

These complaints will be dealt with through the complaint process, which considers if an ad has breached the ASB code. After the ad and the complaints are assessed, a determination will be made to either uphold or dismiss the case.

The Monkeys and MLA are familiar with the complaint process, with several of its campaigns facing being banned in the past for violence against vegans and discrimination.

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