Trelly’s Tackle World ‘incredibly offensive’ Australia Day ad deemed to humiliate Muslims

A print and TV ad for Trelly’s Tackle World Shepparton Australia Day sale was deemed to discriminate against Muslims by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

Complaints said the ad was “an initiative to exclude Muslims from Australia Day”

Launched in the lead up to Australia Day the print ad features images of products on sale with the offer of free pork kebabs stating, “1 day only! Halal or Haram!”

One of the complaints argued the use of the wording “pork kebabs” was offensive because kebabs are a key food in some Muslim-majority countries.

The inclusion of Halal, according to the same complaint, suggested it was aimed at excluding Muslims from Australia Day and was therefore ‘unAustralian’ because the nation is multicultural.

Trelly’s responded to the complaints: “My ad did not in any way suggest that anyone who abides by our laws is not welcome in Australia as [the complainant] writes.”

The TV iteration of the ad shows a man sitting in a chair holding a fishing rod with Australian flags behind him. The ABS noted” “The man says, ‘G’Day Australia. Here at Trelly’s we welcome all new Australians, especially those ones who assimilate’.”

It then shows various products on sale and ends with the man in the chair stating to someone off-screen, “Hey Habib, get me another beer while you’re there”.

The ASB quoted one complaint about the TV ad saying it is discriminatory and racist because of the assimilation and ‘Habib’ references.

Trelly’s argued the response to both ads was based on the “misuse of very loosely used words” such as multiculturalism and Islamophobia. Trelly’s stated, “In Australia we are free to eat and drink what we want”.

The ASB determined both ads breached the Advertiser Code of Ethics. It found the material vilified a person or section of the community on account of religion.

Trelly’s print ad, while not breaching the code for offering pork kebabs, was deemed to be targeting Muslims, “in a manner intended to provoke a reaction, ” according to the ASB.

The ASB particularly disagreed with the TV ad’s assimilation reference, arguing echoed past government’s views of the White Australia policy, and the negative associations to it were insensitive to many in the community.

It also said the use of the term ‘Habib’ strongly suggested the person off-screen was Muslim – and since they were drinking they had ‘assimilated’ as drinking is not part of Islamic faith. The ASB argued this incited contempt for Muslim faith.

Trelly’s Tackle World Shepparton have agreed to take down the ads and not reproduce them in any public media.


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