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.