The annual television ad encouraging people to eat lamb on Australia Day has members of the Indigenous community describing it as “highly offensive” and “disgusting”.

While the Meat and Livestock Association says the response has been mostly positive, some in the Indigenous community say it is highly offensive.

The campaign, which depicts a European invasion, makes no mention of Australia Day. It begins with a group of Indigenous Australians having a barbecue on a beach as one by one, ships of explorers reach the shore.

ABC news reports, some within the Indigenous community have criticised the ad.

“[Using] the continual pain, the real pain felt on this date for their own purposes, for a marketing stunt … that’s the most offensive part of it,” said journalist and Darumbal woman Amy Mcquire.

“There’s Aboriginal people dying in custody, having their children taken away, suiciding … and that oppression stems from that original invasion.

“So to use that as a marketing ploy to sell lamb … is even more disgusting I think.”

But Andrew Howie, group marketing manager of the Meat and Livestock Association, says the organisation held consultations with several Indigenous groups throughout the creative process.

Mr Howie says an effort was made to respect “cultural sensitivities”.

“The work that we create is never designed to be offensive, it’s not designed to cause offense to people,” Mr Howie said.

“This year’s campaign is a celebration of Australia’s history. This year, and with the essence of the brand being very much around unity, we realised that this time of year there are cultural sensitivities.

“If we were going to be inclusive … we needed to understand some of those cultural sensitivities.”


Target have also been in the news this week causing offence with their latest back to school catalogue. Read that story here. 

What do you think of this years ad?

Share your comments below. 

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  • Simple. If you don’t like the ad. don’t watch it again. Do what I do. If you don’t like it either close your eyes or leave the room for a couple of minutes. Sure you can find something to do during that time


  • I love reading the Mouths of mums comments on issues like these. I loved this ad, didn’t find anything offensive and had a bit of a laugh. I really dread Australia Day every year, how the aborigines protest and claim it’s actually invasion day and the date should be changed. If you talk to majority of every day aboriginals on the street, they don’t have an issue with it. It’s just a minority who make it a thing. Get out there and enjoy the day, enjoy the life you have in Australia, celebrate Australia and how awesome we have it


  • I love it, had a good chuckle


  • Another example of an issue being created because people make it one… it’s funny, have a laugh, move on.


  • No mother should ever have to explain her births to anyone!


  • That’s a great ad! – Really people need to stop and think before they take offence to everything small tiny thing – people get sick of listening to people whinge and whine about stuff – if you do it all the time people loose interest in even listening – so you miss getting your message across anyway.

    Australia Day lamb ads are always something to look forward to and I think this one might just be the best one yet!


  • No matter what you do or dont do there will always be someone to scream and say they are offended and once one person says that then others jump on board and make a fuss as well. We really have become a bunch of whinger whiners.


  • The ads for lamb always seem to cause controversy and discussion which may be the exercise/PR target. Funnily enough the ads never make me want to buy lamb. A simple ad for lamb would have far more impact on me than this style of ad which is busy and the message of lamb is lost on me.

    • I think it does a brilliant job apof selling lamb. By getting people to talk about the ad, they’re talking about lamb, win win

      • I suppose different styles of ads appeal to different people. There are enough ads in the media to appeal to all tastes. I don’t like or dislike the ad – it just does not inspire me to want to eat lamb.


  • I think it’s frigging awesome! What a laugh. It takes the piss out if everyone. Except the Aborigines. And more important it shows we are all accepted here in Australia


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