I just ran across this ad for the Australian spread AussieMite, depicting a young woman dipping a consecrated host into the brown paste, then offering it to the bishop. “It’s sacrilicious!” the ad says.
The company describes its product as
“a delicious premium savoury spread, leading on taste, nutrition and the finest quality ingredients. Yeast-based, non-GM and gluten-free, it re-defines a traditional staple for the 21st century.”
Sitting here on the other side of the world, I’m having trouble understanding why Grown-Ups, the Sydney advertising agency which produced this commercial, set out to deliberately offend God and 5.4 million Australian Catholics (25.3% of the population of that country).
Mick Hunter, the ad’s anti-Catholic creator, acknowledges the ad is intended to cause a stir, and hopes it will go viral. “We’re trying to track down [Cardinal] George Pell’s email,” Hunter explains, “and send it to him so he can blow it out of proportion.”
AussieMite’s director, Elise Ramsey, is a self-described Catholic. She claims that no offense was intended, and that the ad played off the “topic of the moment,” the election of a new pope. Ramsey said of the ad’s theme:
“We thought it was the topic of the moment. We wanted something that was a bit fun. It’s not in any way meant to be a strike against the Catholic Church. I’m Catholic and I don’t find it offensive. It’s simply meant to be a talking-piece. I hope that Australia finds it funny.”
Is this FUNNY? Tell me what you think.
UPDATE: AussieMite has apologized and pulled the offensive ad from their website, their Facebook page and other social media. Read their apology and updates here.