The campaign, which featured gods, goddesses and prophets of different faiths and beliefs coming together over a lamb dinner, has attracted criticism from the Universal Society of Hinduism over the portrayal of Ganesha.
The Hindu deity is portrayed in the ad enjoying the meal with other religious figures but, according to the society president Rajan Zed, Ganesha was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and “not to be used in selling lamb meat for mercantile greed”.
Zed said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Hindus slam religious trivialisation
“Hindus are for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else, if not more. But faith is something sacred and attempts at trivialising it hurt the followers.”
He urged MLA board chair Dr Michele Allan and managing director Richard Norton to issue an official apology besides withdrawing the ad immediately. He said: “MLA should be mature enough to understand that love united us and brought us together and not lamb meat.”
Zed added that “such trivialisation of a Hindu deity was disturbing to the Hindus world over”.
The MLA campaign, as a long form film and 30-second TV commercial, includes an integrated marketing strategy, with social media amplification, out-of-home billboards, a bespoke digital media partnership, in-store promotion and PR activity.