Supermarket giant under fire for “insensitive” advertising

The New Year has started with a rocky start for supermarket giant Aldi as it has come under fire for

The New Year has started with a rocky start for supermarket giant Aldi as it has come under fire for a string of ads that they ran for the Christmas period.

The ads feature and over-the-top depiction of an American family showing up to “save” Australian Christmas only to enjoy the one we offer.  The first of the complaints is that the brand “vilified” Americans by portraying them as “gaudy, pushy people.”

The complaint that when to the Advertising Standards Board said, “This is highly offensive to any American. The Americans are portrayed as … weird while the Australians are apparently the normal ones wearing conventional clothing and neutral ­appearance. As an American, I take offence at the way we are portrayed … The ad demonises an entire nationality and culture … to sell groceries.”

The second complaint is that Aldi’s commercial was “perpetuating gay stereotypes” as one of the American family members with a big moustache uses is portrayed with effeminate mannerisms. 

Some of the complaints received stated ““I was personally offended by the content of the ad. Specifically the depiction of the overly camp acting moustachioed man. I am a gay man myself, and I like to think that society has come a long way in its perceptions toward same sex attracted individuals. I am proud of my identity, and I recognise and support every individuals right to express themselves as they please”

While another complaint stated, “My sexuality is not a tool to be used to sell stuff, or make people laugh. Show some sensitivity. I am concerned that the only time an identifiably gay individual is shown in popular Australian advertisements is when it is satirical. The ad is a travesty and is totally offensive”

The final complaint, so far, has been thrown at Aldi for animal cruelty as one ad insinuated that a cork from a champagne bottle hit a magpie.

The complaints to the ASB stated, “Its disgusting that it seems to say the cork killed the native bird”.

At this stage, all complaints to the ASB have been dismissed, and Aldi defended themselves saying that the characters were “hammed up” for the ad also stating that the one character in question wasn’t gay as he was seated next to his wife in the advert.

What do you think about the ads?  Do you think Aldi didn’t use the best judgement in creating the ads or is this another case of people being overly sensitive?

  1. Fran Griffin  

    I think they’re just obnoxious. But I think most ads are as well. I wonder what the Marketing Dept at Aldi and the advertising executives were thinking? What were the storyboards like when the original ideas for the proposed ads were presented? What planet are they on or what drugs have they been taking to even think these ads are worth producing?

    • JohnBell  

      I don’t believe what is being said. Haven’t any of you seen the National Lampoon movies or the Grizwalds it isn’t REAL it’s a tongue in cheek Tv Ad where is your sense of humor get over it nobody thinks it is a true look at Americans. It is supposed to be funny.

  2. Dee  

    I really can’t see any problem. I don’t mind them because they’re short and to the point although not much of an Aldi fan.

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      I love Aldi and if you were on a pension you would probably buy from them also. The Leg of Ham I got this year from Aldi and was so much better then Woolworths and Coles. I had them and were not happy. Aldi had no fat or very little so I did not waste any.
      The items that I use to Love have been taken from shelves and I do not want to buy Woolworths or Coles Brands as I have tried them think they are disgusting. Why should we be forced to buy products.
      Aldi brands are superior to any other

  3. phil ison  

    Lighten up great ads learn to laugh at yourself forget PC and enjoy humor.Laugh and the world laughs with you cry and the world laughs at you.

  4. Ali  

    Really, it is a bit of fun. Harden up u sticklers and ottpc’ers

  5. Trish  

    Really? People need to lighten up and get a sense of humour. It was just a fun, catchy commercial. I never picked up the American reference at all, to me it was just a family from a country which celebrates Christmas in the cold weather. Some people need to get a life and stop thinking it is all about them!

  6. Dianna Warner  

    Get over it ! Sad that anyone would get upset over a silly commercial.

  7. Laila Andre  

    Thought they were tacky………

  8. Maureen Gunton  

    Get over yourselves – it was ads for goodness sake does anyone really take them to heart – if you do then you need to take a long look at your life and re-evaluate your priorities!

  9. Vince Moore  

    Any thing to put down a septic tank. All Good.

  10. Allan Roach  

    Some people have got nothing better to do with their time. Sure it won’t win any advertising awards, but it is supposed to be light hearted fun.

  11. Guy Flavell  

    It was just an advertisement and reflective of the American people’s habit of spreading
    Christmas cheer like this. I’m not quite sure how most Aussies would handle these ‘wallies’
    turning up at their front door though … perhaps the ‘bum’s rush’ ? Anyway, leave it alone you
    PC D..kheads as it was all just good fun and hopefully got a few more customers into
    Aldi’s stores at Christmas.

  12. Te Hau  

    But Americans are like that and portray themselves like that, on all the TV we see


      Te Hau, seriously? They are nothing like that at all!

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