Australian entrepreneur Dick Smith may soon become involved in a High Court dispute after his controversial Australia Day ad was dismissed from airing during early evening television.
The commercial features Mr Smith himself and shows an offensive scene about asylum seekers. The ad also features an elderly lady saying “there’s only one Dick I’ll be eating on Australia Day” and Mr Smith himself urging viewers to “chow down on my OzeNuts”, referring to his peanut butter.
The ad failed to gain the required G rating from the Classifications board, instead received a PG rating.
The ad’s creator Dan Ilic said Mr Smith had spent $100,000 booking advertising spots during the major 6pm news bulletins and was “furious and incredibly upset” when he learned about the board’s decision.
"I don't understand what's wrong with it - young people and old people love to eat Dick Smith foods on Australia Day and any day," he said.
A scene depicting refugees escaping from a burning boat and struggling to get to shore, whilst Mr Smith waits on the land with a bundle of his products saying “the taste is beauty, why else would thousands be trying to get here”, is said to be the reason behind the board’s decision to class the ad as PG.
Mr Smith wrote a text message that was displayed on Mr Ilic’s blog reading, “It’s a total disaster, after six months of planning and tens of thousands of dollars I spent I just can’t believe the ad has been rejected.
“The fun police have banned my harmless fun Australia day ad. The day of the Aussie larrikin is clearly over.”
Mr Smith says that he is determined to fight the board’s decision and may take legal action.
It may not make it to television, however the ad has gone viral and has been viewed by thousands of people both in Australia and overseas.
Advertising expert Jane Caro says that may have been his intention all along."People like to see what's forbidden if you ban something," she told 7News.
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