Sunday, January 15, 2017
Australia Day lamb advertisement draws criticism from blacks
It was highly politically correct -- failing even to mention Australia day and being super-multicultural -- but you can't please some people.
Australia Day commemorates the landing of the first white settlers in Australia. It is a popular day for getting together with friends and relatives over a BBQ. The sheep farmers want us to put lamb chops on the BBQ
The annual television advert encouraging people to eat lamb on Australia Day is often controversial, and it seems this year is no different, with members of the Indigenous community describing it as "highly offensive" and "disgusting".
While Meat and Livestock Australia 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.
The cast of the ad is diverse, with guest appearances from Cathy Freeman, Wendell Sailor, Poh Ling Yeow and former chair of the National Australia Day Council Adam Gilchrist.
While some have taken umbrage at the complete omission of references to Australia Day, 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 Meat and Livestock Australia, 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."
Tim Burrowes from the media and marketing website Mumbrella says the ad is risky, but most good marketing is.
"I think if one thinks about the motives involved behind creating this ad, they come from a place which is trying — through sense of humour — to move on a conversation and get a message out there."