Livestock lobbyists "stewing" over Facebook post

October 18, 2018

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has received a complaint from Australia's multi-billion-dollar livestock industry after using the term "lambassador" in a Facebook post promoting an advertisement for the party, fronted by Sam Kekovich.

The ABC reports, Mr Kekovich is a former footballer and media personality, well-known for heading MLA's Australia Day lamb ads.

He is also the face of the new Australian Conservatives video, which is promoted on Senator Bernardi's Facebook page with the phrase "The Lambassador supports Australian Conservatives".

Industry group Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has written to Senator Bernardi claiming his party has no right to use the term, "lambassador".

In the letter, General Counsel Clare Stanwix said the advertisement was a breach of MLA's intellectual property rights, demanding Senator Bernardi "forever cease and desist".

She also said under a funding agreement with the Federal Government, MLA was "expressly forbidden" from engaging in political activity.

"This is an extremely serious matter," Ms Stanwix wrote.

But Senator Bernardi said he "won't be rammed into submission" and had received preliminary legal advice showing MLA was on shaky ground because the term "lambassador" was in generic use and was used on plenty of websites, including on Mr Kekovich's.

"They don't own the term, it is a generic term, it's a hybrid of the term 'lamb' and 'ambassador' and it's used widely by people who like lamb," Senator Bernardi said.

Senator Bernardi said his party's television advertising doesn't use the term "lambassador", and it was only the Facebook post promoting the advertisement that used it.

Senator Bernardi has told ABC Radio Adelaide's Spence Denny MLA was seemingly worried about its government funding and was employing "bully boy" tactics.

To see the advertisement, click here.

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