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Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, January 18,
object to German beer ad as 'insensitive'
'leaves sour taste'
By PETER KOHN
Australian Jewish News
MELBOURNE - A BEER commercial
that claims the product is brewed according to "the
German Purity Law" is "insensitive," according to
the head of the Jewish community's antisemitism
B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC)
chairman Michael Lipshutz (right) told the
AJN that the Beck's beer commercial should specify
a "German beer purity law" to distinguish it from
Nazi Germany's racial "purity" laws.
The audio track for the commercial, which has
aired on Foxtel's Comedy Channel, mentions "the
German Purity Law" and also emblazons the words
across the screen.
James Tait, corporate affairs manager for
Beck's importer Lion Nathan Australia, said the
advertisement "has been running in Australia and
other parts of the world for several years."
"The German Purity Law is a brewing law
that ensures only natural ingredients are used.
It has been around since 1516 and the ad is
clear that it [the purity law] relates
to the product."
Foxtel corporate affairs manager Rebecca
Melkman said the pay-TV provider, after
reviewing the commercial, "believes it complies
with the code. In our view, the commercial clearly
refers to the German Purity Law as a method of
brewing beer -- it is a well-known beer brewing
method that is described in detail in the
She said she was unaware of any previous
complaints regarding the commercial.
Lipshutz said the airing of the commercial in
the general media could cause offence to some
people, particularly those who were
affected by the
Holocaust. "I think it is insensitive. It leaves a
In a letter to the AJN this week, London
resident Todd Tobias, who saw the ad on the
Comedy Channel during a recent visit to Melbourne,
said that while he wasn't offended as a Jew, he was
"surprised at the unfortunate, evocative, and in
some ways darkly humorous misuse of words."
Lipshutz said the ADC would
COMMENT: But it's OK for Jews to
enforce their own "racial purity" laws against
non-Jews in Israel?
dossier on the origins of anti-Semitism