AussieMite: We’ve fired our agency over Catholic controversy; Grown Ups: We’re not your agency

The owner of AussieMite, the brand accused of offending Catholics by satirising the Eucharist ceremony, has tried to shift the blame to Grown Ups, the agency behind the ads, and said that the company will be severing ties.

But Grown Ups co-founder Grant Booker has told Mumbrella that there is no ongoing relationship to be terminated and that the agency had delivered on its brief to create a piece of viral content.

Roger Ramsey, boss of AussieMite, insisted to Mumbrella that the ad – featuring communion bread being dipped in the spread – had been intended to “generate controversy but not create offence”. He said: “We did not expect this reaction.”

The ad was pulled over the weekend after protests began to grow. The Advertising Standards Board has already had about 50 complaints.

But Grant Booker, creative director of grown Ups told Mumbrella: “We had a brief to create something that would go viral. They were enthusiastic all the way through.”

Booker said that the agency had been only asked to create one ad and had not been retained to do any further work.

And Ramsey’s Elise Ramsey, who commissioned the ad from Grown Ups, claimed that it has generated death threats from offended Catholics.

Speaking from the UK, she told Mumbrella: “I’m Catholic myself. I thought it was a little bit tongue-in-cheek but maybe that’s because I’m a marketer. We’re a nice brand, a friendly brand and maybe this wasn’t a good fit.”

She claimed that Grown Ups had promoted the ad without her permission. Grown Ups denies this.

The initial press release from Grown Ups stated that the ad was intended to create controversy.

A series of tweets from the AussieMite Twitter account, including one linking to an article about Catholic child abuse, were this afternoon deleted.


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