Australian camping retailer BCF found himself in hot water after making a lighthearted coronavirus joke about a man eating a bat in its latest advertisement.
Wowsers have complained to Watchdog Ad Standards about the action aimed at showing how lucky people are to be stuck because of the pandemic rather than overseas in an Australian summer.
The ad features footage of an Australian family enjoying camping, fishing, visiting watering holes and bush walking.
It’s spliced with footage of how awful it is for their in-laws overseas in an Eastern European winter of -17 ° C, or how they are locked in the UK and US.
The display then shows a few anglers.
“Shazza is a little upset that someone ate a bat,” says the cheeky song.
Shazza’s partner takes a large bite out of a bat sandwich with the bat wing hanging out.
The advertising campaign shows a family enjoying nature in an Austrian summer during the coronavirus pandemic
A nostradamus on social media predicted that complaints would soon fly – and they did
The ad compares the outdoors in Australia to the nasty cold winters and lockdowns overseas
The joke relates to the belief that the coronavirus pandemic started from bats, eaten as a delicacy in some regions of China, and jumped from people to people in a damp market in Wuhan.
The ad has received more than 238,000 views since it was uploaded to YouTube on December 11th.
The cheeky pitch was also shown on television – with the bat sequence cut out.
Only a written complaint to Ad Standards is required to initiate a formal complaint that compels the organization to investigate.
However, it appears that more than one person complained about the BCF ad’s joke.
“A number of complaints have been received about this ad and are being examined to see if the concerns raise issues with the advertising codes,” an Ad Standards spokeswoman told The Daily Telegraph.
Daily Mail Australia does not know the content of the complaints or the number of complaints.
BCF makes a coronavirus joke with a man eating a bat sandwich and some think it’s too early for a crazy sense of humor?
Many people loved the ad and shared their support on social media
Bats in the Tomohon Extreme Meat Market, Indonesia. Bats are eaten all over Asia. The coronavirus was first believed to have jumped from bats to people in a wet market in Wuhan
But social media was full of support for Sunday’s irreverent humor.
“So damn funny,” wrote a woman on FaceBook.
“I’m just waiting for the Dudley to have the right to find something to complain about and keep going,” wrote one man whose prediction turned out to be correct.
On YouTube, support for the ad was almost unanimous – and some users were furious that the bat bit was edited from TV.
“You just did the Shazza and the bat piece during the cricket LoL, that was the best piece,” wrote one man.
Imagine the person who eats the bat sandwich is Chinese. I bet the Chinese government wouldn’t be happy, ”wrote another.
BCF has said it has a tradition of disrespectful campaigning in the sense of “good-natured fun”.
The outdoor chain said their ad campaign encourages Aussies to explore their amazing country.
NSW nation leader Mark Latham said he loved advertising, which was good for tourism, calling the watchdog the “advertising Politburo” for investigation and urging it to “get a life”.
“Anyway, maybe someone ate a bat sandwich.”
In 2020, more than 3,400 complaints were filed across 369 ads based on Ad Standards.
The only one confirmed about 18 percent of the cases examined in 2020, its website said.
The most objectionable ad in 2020, with 315 complaints, was the Ultra Tune Australia television ad, which featured Pamela Anderson and Warwick Capper in a Baywatch-style theme.
Hundreds of people complained of discrimination and defamation, that it was exploitative or degrading, and of sex and nudity – but the complaints were dismissed.