Controversial moment in 'offensive' BCF ad sparks complaints

An advertisement for an Australian outdoor retailer has attracted criticism after it made a joke about the origins of coronavirus.

BCF (Boating Camping Fishing) has been slammed online after launching its latest campaign proclaiming “you couldn’t be anywhere better this summer” and calling on shoppers to “gear up and celebrate here”.

Eyebrows were raised when the 46 second clip went live online, due to a lyric in a song listing reasons people were “upset” about travel restrictions stopping them from travelling overseas.

Two screenshots from the ad - a woman fishing and a mat eating a "bat sandwich".
Shazza (left) was "upset about somebody eating a bat", the song says. Source: Facebook/BCF-Boating Camping Fishing

“Darren’s pretty devo that he can’t go overseas, coz where his in-laws live it’s minus 17 degrees,” the beginning of the song says.

The following line was accompanied by a man biting into a fake bat sandwich.

“And Shazza’s a bit upset that somebody ate a bat, coz now she’s at this jetty and not her uncle’s London flat,” it says.

The bat mention is a reference to speculation that coronavirus was originally transmitted to humans when someone ate a bat bought at a wet market in China.

China has strongly denied accusations that Covid-19 originated there and have insisted that more investigation needs to be done into the true origins of the deadly virus.

Ad slammed as inappropriate and insensitive online

The ad, which some claimed is a classic example of Australian humour, was labelled by many others as inappropriate and insensitive.

“It’s simply in bad taste,” one person shared in a tweet.

Another claimed they found the ad “particularly offensive” but had not been impressed with the retailer’s previous efforts either.

“BCF ads are rude rubbish, they always were,” she wrote.

“I’ve always found all of their adverts offensive. They won’t make me shop there,” someone else said.

One labelled the ad “embarrassing” and called on the company to “grow up”.

While another person simply argued that it was “too soon” to be making jokes of such nature.

Many argued against the critics, urging them to lighten up and appreciate the “typically Australian” commercial for what it was.

Yahoo News Australia has contacted BCF for comment on the matter.

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