AussieMite Apologizes for Irreverent Ad—But Did They Really Mean It?

Comic posted on the AussieMite Facebook page, after their formal apology

Well, that was fast!  Now you see it, now you don’t.

This morning I wrote about an offensive commercial advertising a popular Australian yeast spread, AussieMite.  In the video, an attractive young woman approaches a bishop in the communion line to receive the Eucharist and then, to my horror, takes the consecrated host out of her mouth and dips it into a jar of the brown pasty stuff.  The bishop is first shocked, but then at her invitation he, too, dips a host into the jar.

My readers have been keeping me up-to-date with regard to the backlash following release of the clearly blasphemous commercial.

Apparently, the company’s campaign to have a good laugh at the expense of the Catholic Church has backfired.  Feedback has been extremely negative and Australia’s two largest grocery chains, facing consumer complaints, had threatened to take the product off their shelves.

The Catholic bishops in Australia have been decidedly low-key in their response, apparently trying not to add to the publicity.  Father Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said:

“It’s not done with any humour.  It’s been done as a deliberate strategy to cause offence to maximise publicity for a product that has no other means of attracting an audience.”

Within the last 24 hours, the company has apologized publicly and has removed the offending video from its Facebook page and other social media.  It’s still out there on YouTube (where I found it) and the ad agency website; but the company promises that those versions, too, will have been deleted by Monday.

They’ve posted numerous apologies on the company’s Facebook page, including this one:

To all our customers and anyone we may have upset with our ad. 

We sincerely apologise for any offence caused. It was never the intention to do so, but we recognise that for some it did. 

We have listened to your comments and removed any and all instances of the campaign from our social media channels.

We are a small family-owned company looking to establish ourselves and a product we believe in and love. 

We sincerely hope that this will not dissuade you from buying AussieMite in the future.

Best wishes,
AussieMite

 And this pitiful plea:

Sending some love to all those commenting about our ad… love… love… love

And this personal assurance:

Again, the ad was not to offend and we apologise for any offence taken. I wish you all well and hope that you can open your hearts and make peace with this situation. My best wishes, Elise

And this:

Hello everyone, 

The ad has been removed from our social media and we are taking action on your behalf regarding getting the ad removed via YouTube and various other channels. 

Please understand that we may not have a response until Monday, so we ask for your patience. 

Thank you. 

Best wishes, 
AussieMite

Don’t think, though, that there has been a change of heart on the part of the persons responsible for the ad.

In my first post I quoted the ad’s creator, Catholic-basher Mick Hunter, who said:

“We’re trying to track down [Cardinal] George Pell’s email and send it to him so he can blow it out of proportion.”

I should have reported Hunter’s second line: 

“It’s probably a bit sacrilegious to the faithful but they are dwindling in popularity as we speak.”

And a reader reported that when the complaints first began coming, someone in charge of AussieMite’s Facebook page tried to deflect criticism by posting links to articles regarding child-abusing priests.  (As if the sinful actions of a few members of the clergy justified hurling insults at God and the entire Church!)

Anyway, the story is wrapping up.  Consumers have spoken; and perhaps this incident will remind other corporations that it’s not good business to mess with people’s most strongly held beliefs.

If you’ve missed the video, check it out today, while you can still see it on YouTube.  Click here to see the link on my earlier post.

 

 

  • TotaTua

    as usual the last acceptable prejudice – the Catholic Church.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Perhaps I was wrong that the ad would work. Perhaps it really did backfire on them. Praise the Lord!

  • Jes

    No, I think apologies are cheap. Aussie mite and Mr Hunter should each donate a significant sum ($10,000 each) to Cardinal Pell for his intentions. Then I will think about buying their products again.

  • BrandonUB

    Apparently people are out of actual offensive things to be offended by.

    • Bruce

      the Eucharist is more important to me than anything else in my life, because it is Jesus Christ.
      There is nothing else more offensive.
      so there are those who think differently than you and see the world differently than you.
      or are you intolerant?

      • BrandonUB

        I’m happy to tolerate other people’s beliefs, but I’m under no
        obligation to treat them as actually true. Sure, you
        believe that a piece of food is Jesus, but I surely do not, and most
        other people don’t either (including many Catholics).

        • seriously

          If you are willing to wait long enough … you will know the truth.

  • bzelbub

    Oh grow up, I’m sure that the Lord, our God, was not offended by this attempt at advertising. There have been far greater abuses visited upon his Word, than one little advert gone astray. This is all a tempest in a teapot,and easily forgotten like yesterdays spent tea leaves.

    • swede7

      Well….your name is appropriate!

    • Jacob

      An ad using the very pinnacle of Christian life to sell a product, not offensive? An ad depicting the very body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord being dunked into a flavorful spread, no big deal? This is incredibly offensive. It is easy to sweep under the rug if you have no idea what (or more to the point, WHO) the Eucharist is, but once you do know, you’ll see this ad is in incredibly poor taste.

    • BHG

      You miss at least one point. The injury is not to God. The mindset that could create such an ad injures the one who has it.

  • Mack

    I’m offended that anyone would say “tempest in a teapot.” What a tired cliche’!

  • B

    These blasphemies are sadly becoming more and more common. I am afraid for the future. It always starts with words and when that won’t satisfy the enemies of Truth it will end up in violence. God have mercy on us all.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    To put this in context, the popular Australian brand of savoury spread is called Vegemite, which is in turn an imitation – and a competitor – of the famous, or notorious, English product, Marmite. In other words, this “Aussiemite” is an imitation of an imitation, an upstart rip-off of a popular product. That explains the rather desperate quality of its “advertising”: it is trying to be noticed over bigger, older and more popular competitors. An American comparison would be some new brand of cola. This does not excuse its ugly performance, however: quite to the contrary, it makes it very clear that they intended to stir up a hornet’s nest for the purest and least worthwhile commercial reasons.


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