Meat industry tames ‘Australia Day’ lamb campaign

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 15th January 2018

Meat and Livestock Australia’s 2018’s Australia Day lamb television advertisement has received far less criticism than prior advertising efforts by the meat promotion organisation.

Launching the long-form version of the television advertisement late last week, the MLA’s advertisement satirises both sides of Australian politics, having a ‘left’ gang fight with a ‘right’ gang in a tribute drawn from the 1950s West Side Story.

Both gangs eventually agree to come together over their love of lamb. Long-time MLA lamb ambassador Sam Kekovich also makes a quick appearance in the ad.

Although the advertisement sends up both side of Australian politics, reactions to the 2018 Australia Day commercial have been far more subdued than reactions to other MLA ads.

The MLA attracted criticism in September 2017 when it aired a lamb promotion ad which included a Hindu god eating meat.

In 2016, the MLA’s Australia Day Lamb ad was the third most complained about ad of the year with some saying it was too violent, and others saying it was offence to indigenous Australians and vegans. All complaints were however dismissed by the Advertising Standards Board.

Some social media users have however still criticised MLA’s 2018 Australia Day advertisement saying it did little to encourage them to eat lamb, instead remarking it was encourage them to turn vegan.

Vegetarians continue fight back against lamb advertising campaign 

The release of the 2018 Australia Day MLA advertisement has also been responded to with a counter advertisement from plant-based company, The Alternative Meat Co.

Following on from the Alternate Meat Co.’s Dave Hughes ad in 2017 that parodied old MLA lamb ads, this year The Alternative Meat Company has used comedian Aaron Chen to ask Australians if they really believe you need to eat meat to be Australian.

The video features Aaron dressed as ‘Carl the Cow’ interviewing everyday Aussies about what it means to be Australian.

Creator of the Alternative Meat Co. brand, Dean Epps, said they wanted to challenge the perception that eating meat makes you more Australia.

“We want to encourage people to cut back on the amount of meat they eat each week and try an alternative. Every little bit counts.”


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