An amusing ad for Australian meat was attacked today by the the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) in India for, among other things, showing Jesus turning wine into water for a ‘designated driver’ attending a dinner party.
According to this report, the Australian advertising campaign launched by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) features “revered” mythical figures to promote its meat products, and has also annoyed Hindus.
CSF Founder-General Secretary Joseph Dias said the ad is “bad in taste and offensive to all” and demanded a boycott of MLA and a ban of their products.
The advertisement features the elephant-headed God, Lord Ganesha, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Thor, Zeus and others seated at a table enjoying what is a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast.
An oblique reference is made to the “prophet” Mohammed, who is not pictured but is heard excusing himself from the party through a mobile phone call, explaining he has to pick-up a child from daycare.
What has apparently hurt Christians most is Jesus Christ performing what is termed as a “reverse miracle” by turning wine into water so a Grecian goddess, who is a “designated driver” can drive home safely.
We have written to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to take note of these insensitive advertisements and raise the issue with the top authorities in Australia immediately.
We also demand that MLA Chairman Michele Allan and MD Richard Norton withdraw the ads and tender an apology
The CSF has always protested against commercial exploitation of religious figures for profit, irrespective of which religion the figures belong to. The MLA ads have hurt not only followers of different faiths, but atheists and agnostics all over.
He termed the campaign as “culturally insensitive” to vegans and communities like Hindus, Jains or Buddhists and said Lord Ganesha is a vegetarian and meat is never offered to him, as depicted in the MLA ads.
Dias warned that unless MLA yanks off the offensive ad campaign and apologises, the global Catholic community would be compelled to boycott its products as:
There are many alternatives available worldwide.
In this report, MLA spokesman Andrew Howie defended the advert, saying the various deities were depicted in “a clearly fantastic nature”.
It is understood that the advertisement has been referred to Ausralia’s Advertising Standards Board (ASB) for review.