Hindus and others, who denounced the highly insensitive ad of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), are further shocked at Advertising Standards Bureau’s (ASB) reportedly green signal to apparently reckless marketing strategies of MLA, which had already upset Hindu and other faith communities worldwide.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it clearly signaled that the current system of so-called advertising “self-regulation” was not effectively working in Australia and it was time for it to go. This case had highlighted that integrity of this advertising self-regulation system was highly doubtful.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Mitch Fifield, Australia Minister for Communications and the Arts, to move the advertising regulation to his department and dismiss ASB, which had blatantly failed to deliver despite the high community resentment.
Rajan Zed noted that with the majority of the Bureau Board members coming from marketing background, ASB seemed to have turned deaf ear to the feelings of the communities and instead favored the professional colleagues in advertising. Moreover, the Code also needed to be thoroughly revisited.
Zed further said that “impartial” ASB chose to ignore its own “Aim of self-regulation”, which stated: The aim of self-regulation is to maintain high advertising standards and ensure consumer trust and protection for the benefit of all of the community.
ASB decisions like this would result in further dent into falling consumer confidence in and respect for general standards of advertising in Australia. ASB seemed to have lost its “sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society as a whole”, Rajan Zed indicated.
Zed suggested Australian media operators not to accept this ad on their respective platforms as a goodwill gesture to the hurt sentiments of the community.
Rajan Zed also urged Australia Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce to impose fine on “producer-owned” MLA, which should not be in the business of playing with the sentiments of communities with the public money. MLA seemed to be rebuffing its own “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics”, which included using “MLA’s assets appropriately” and acting “responsibly with respect to members, stakeholders, customers, suppliers, competitors, the community and others”; by spending public funds on insensitive and unnecessary lamb ad which had perturbed the Hindu and other faith communities world over.
With ad campaigns like MLA’s “You Never Lamb Alone”, which had created more negative vibe than positive one, Australia should be concerned about expanding its meat and livestock exports to over 100 countries and producers should be worried about profitability, Zed pointed out.