The Advertising Standards Bureau in Australia has dismissed complaints filed by Hindu groups against an advertisement that showed Ganesha eating meat, PTI reported on Tuesday. The commercial, released by Meat and Livestock Australia earlier in September, showed gods worshiped in different religions sitting down for a meal of lamb.
The advertising watchdog rejected the claims made by Hindu groups, saying it was “inclusive” and did not provide “any one character with less favourable or unfair treatment by virtue of being in the group”.
“The majority of the board considered that the overall tone of the advertisement is light-hearted and humorous,” the board said, according to SBS. “...The intent is to be inclusive in a manner that promotes a harmonious and multi-faith environment...The depiction of Lord Ganesha...in a scene that might suggest he can eat meat is not less favourable than the manner in which the other religions are also depicted.”
On September 11, the Indian High Commission in Canberra had lodged a diplomatic protest with Australia over the advertisement. It had urged Meat and Livestock Australia to withdraw the commercial because many considered it offensive and hurtful towards their religious sentiments. The status of the complaint is currently unknown.
Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau had earlier said it had received more than 30 complaints “relating to a number of faiths” against the ad. An online campaign to ban the clip has received more than 4,400 signatures.