CBA takes off air Hussey Ad. offensive to Indians

A television advertisement featuring Australian cricketer ‘Mr Cricket’ Michael Hussey has been taken off air after complaints that it was offensive to the Indian community, says an SBS media release.
The Commonwealth Bank advertisement was one of a series of Commonwealth bank ads, featuring people making what were meant to be humorous remarks.
The ad in question featured Hussey saying: “I’ll never make friends with the Indian cricket team on Facebook – it’s too messy”.
Jas Hothi, secretary of the Melbourne sporting group Kabaddi Academy, found the ad personally offensive and immediately wrote to the CBA, stating that he and many others would pull their accounts from the bank in protest if nothing was done; and that he had discussed the matter with several community groups.
Hothi, rather than finding the ad humourous, felt that the term ‘messy’ was too open for misinterpretation – potentially creating stereotypes of Indians and creating negative connotations of the Indian Cricket team. Speaking to SBS Radio Punjabi program EP Manpreet Singh, Hothi said:
“So this was the main issue that straight away he [Hussey] is saying that Indian team is too messy, so this has hurt the feeling of so many Indians.”
Cricket Australia’s Peter Young told SBS that it had not received any specific complaints about the ad featuring Michael Hussey. He says Cricket Australia was not involved in making the ad, but as far as he could tell, it was intended to be tongue-in-cheek:
“Whenever different cultures come together there is the potential for misunderstanding. One of cricket’s great strengths is that it is a game that is supported across diverse cultures around the world and when it’s working it has the ability to bring diverse people together, and I think that has been one of cricket’s great strengths. But there is always the potential for misunderstanding.”
The Commonwealth Bank, which is sponsoring the current cricket series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka, responded to the complaints by saying it had immediately removed the ad from both television and at cricket venues.
In a statement, the Bank says the ad in question was part of a campaign created to encourage people to “start” something new. It says it did not intend to offend, criticise or discriminate against the Indian Cricket Team or Australia’s Indian community; but rather, was intended to make light of the ‘healthy rivalry’ that exists between the Australian and Indian teams.
Hothi says he and the other complainants appreciate the prompt action taken by the bank to deal with the issue.

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Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

One thought on “CBA takes off air Hussey Ad. offensive to Indians

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