Meat ad makes 2016 most complained about adverts list

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th December 2016

Meat and Livestock Australia’s “Operation Boomerang” Australia Day advertising campaign has taken 3 out of top 10 places in the 2016 Advertising Standards Bureau’s (ASB) annual list of “most complained about” advertisements.

ASB received 376 complaints for the free-to-air television version of Operation Boomerang, making it the second most complained about ad for the year. The ASB also received 241 complaints about the Operation Boomerang advertisement posted online, making it the fourth most complained about ad, and 130 complaints were lodged about the social media version of the ad, placing MLA sixth place on the list as well.

The advertisement, which made its debut in January 2016, begins with featuring of SBS newsreader, Lee Lin Chin, and tells the story of recovery missions to rescue and bring home Australians from overseas to eat lamb on Australia Day.

All the complaints regarding this advertising campaign were dismissed by the ASB.

Complaints about the advertisement included members of the public saying it was too violent. Other complaints said it was offensive towards vegans and indigenous Australians.


The MLA, which was the only food-related organisation with an advertisement on the list, responded to its placings by saying that it operates within the provisions of the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) code.

“As a responsible advertiser and marketer, MLA operates in compliance with the provisions of the AANA code – and the Operation Boomerang lamb campaign was no different,” an MLA spokesperson told Australian Food News.

“Ultimately, MLA’s marketing activities, including the Operation Boomerang campaign, are designed to promote and build demand for Australian red meat, utilising the fact that we have some of the best quality lamb and beef in the world,” the spokesperson stated.


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