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.
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