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Watch: An Australian ad for lamb featuring gods of all faiths has led to protests from Hindu groups

‘Ganesh is shown as eating lamb and that is very insensitive to the community.’

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Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) new advertisement for lamb was supposed to be edgy and quirky. The TV commercial intended to show that “no matter your beliefs, background or persuasion, the one thing we can all come together and unite over, is lamb,” said Andrew Howie, MLA’s marketing manager.

Within days, however, the lamb campaign “You never lamb alone” was referred to the Advertising Standards Bureau over its lack of sensitivity in portraying divinities and religious leaders.

The controversial advertisement (above) shows gods, prophets, messiahs of all faiths sitting together at a barbecue. The ad features Jesus, Moses, Aphrodite, Buddha, Ganesha, Zeus, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Mohammed, whose portrayal is considered highly offensive, conveniently calls to say he can’t make it.

The rest gather around a plate eating lamb, as the host addresses the table. “It’s a nightmare catering for you lot with your dietary requirements.”

The ad shows friendly banter between the gods. Aphrodite is the designated driver, so Jesus performs a “reverse miracle” turning her wine into water. Buddha asks the table, “Should we address the elephant in the room?” to which Ganesha aptly responds, “Not funny 2,500 years ago, not funny now.”

Hubbard, typical of scientology, starts pitching his religion, whereupon Moses butts in and requests him, “Let’s not get into religion at the table.” The ad deliberately reveals that the host is an atheist, prompting Ganesha to suggest that “we really need a better marketing team.”

Predictably, the advertisement has sparked a controversy. The depiction of Ganesh’s eating meat has not gone down well. What was supposed to paint a picture of unity and togetherness has turned into a battlefield. The Indian Society of Western Australia called the ad insensitive and called for MLA to apologise and pull it. Spokesman Nitin Vashisht said, “I don’t think they realise how revered a god Ganesha is...He is shown as eating lamb and looking for a new marketing strategy for himself (and that) is really very insensitive to the community.”

MLA’s response: “Our intent is never to offend, but rather acknowledge that lamb is a meat consumed by a wide variety of cultures and capture how the world could look if people left their differing views at the door and came to the table with open arms, and minds.”

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Big discounts and top picks

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Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch. For those of you just looking for a high quality fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge has Rs. 4500 off on 22nd September.

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The Amazon Fire Stick
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Check-out process and payment options

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Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.