In a U-turn, Australia’s advertising watchdog has ruled that a controversial advertisement featuring Lord Ganesha and other divinities promoting consumption of lamb meat violated the country’s advertising standard code. The advertisement was released in September by the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), triggering widespread protests from the Indian community in the country as well across the globe. Members of the Hindu community of Australia filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) at that time claiming it had hurt their religious sentiments.
The ad also prompted the Indian High Commission in Canberra to lodge a complaint with the Australian government asking for its removal. Initially the ASB found that the ad by the MLA was not in breach of code. According to the latest decision, the board noted, “Lord Ganesha was a deity that signified perfection so to criticise his appearance would be likely to be seen as ridiculing the Hindu religion and by extension some followers of that faith.”