Faaez Samadi
Jan 11, 2018

New Australian lamb ad divides opinion, again

While not as controversial as its previous offerings, the latest campaign has drawn criticism for its political satire, or lack thereof.

The much-anticipated annual Meat & Livestock Australia ad promoting lamb has fallen flat this year, despite it being less controversial than others in recent years.

Having built a remarkable cult following for any brand, let alone a government agricultural association, this year’s ‘Lamb Side Story’ has seen a fierce backlash online, not so much for its content as its quality. MLA works with Accenture-owned local creative shop The Monkeys.

It is a play on musical West Side Story, with two gangs of left and right political commentators facing off at a street barbecue, and in the background, there is a lady grilling lamb. After battling through song and dance, the two sides unite over a plate of barbecued lamb.

Critical Australian netizens have panned the new ad for, in turn, being crass and tone deaf in its attempted political satire, being confusing as the lamb reveal only really comes at the end, and being far too long, so people aren’t bothering to get to the end.

As ever, there are also those defending the ad for drawing attention to the spurious nature of political commentary, and for just having some fun.
Previous MLA ads have stoked significant controversy for their focus on, among others,  vegans and refugees. Last year’s ad was likely the most disputed for its depiction of various religious gods eating lamb, and was banned following an independent review.

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