AFTER generating a huge amount of debate and controversy, India's own government has called for Australia's new lamb ad to be trashed, labelling it "offensive”.
The ad, titled "You Never Lamb Alone”, launched by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) on September 4, outraged thousands of Hindus after it featured Lord Ganesha, a revered Hindu deity, "toasting lamb” as "the meat we can all eat”.
Only, Lord Ganesha is a vegetarian.
Australia's Hindu community called for action and the Indian Government has since lodged an official diplomatic complaint.
In a press release, the High Commission of India said it had made a "démarche” to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Communication and Arts and the Department of Agriculture over the "insensitive” ad.
"The Consulate General of India in Sydney has taken up the matter directly with Meat and Livestock Australia and urged them to withdraw the advertisement,” it added.
While the ad's original intention was to promote unity and inclusivity through enjoying lamb, it seems to have done the exact opposite with Hindus all over the world threatening to boycott Australia's multi-billion dollar meat industry over the ad.
Universal Society of Hinduism president Rajan Zed condemned the clip in the US and called for MLA to apologise or risk a worldwide boycott.
"With ads like this playing with the sentiments of communities worldwide resulting in boycotts, how long would Australia keep its position as one of the largest exporters of red meat?” he said.
Mr Zed also called for MLA board chair Michele Allan and managing director Richard Norton to resign over the ad and for "using cheap tactics to attract attention instead of seriously attempting to prevent consumers from reducing their lamb consumption”.
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