(Australian Associated Press)
An advertisement encouraging people to eat lamb on Australia Day criticised for inciting hatred towards vegans has been given the all-clear.
The ad from Meat and Livestock Australia, starring popular SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin and long-time lamb consumption advocate Sam Kekovich, was cleared by the Advertising Standards Bureau during an “extraordinary meeting”.
The bureau said in a statement that a scene depicting a blow torch being applied to vegan food was an “exaggerated and humorous” response to alternatives to lamb and did not discriminate against vegans.
The authority also rejected complaints that the use of the term “operation boomerang” – referring to the ad’s premise of bringing home expats for Australia Day – may “parody” indigenous Australians and culture.
“The use of the tagline or phrase Operation Boomerang…is not a reference to indigenous Australians, but is meant as a reference to something which is to be returned,” the statement said.
Further concerns that the ad, which has racked up close to two million views on YouTube, was too violent were also considered and dismissed.
Depictions of violence were “clearly fantasy” and unlikely to encourage copycat behaviour, the ASB said.
Meat and Livestock Australia has welcomed the bureau’s decision.