A GetUp! advertisement posted to YouTube has been pulled following intense backlash for its “incredibly insensitive” campaign.
The proposed election ad was accused of bad taste for parodying Tony Abbott refusing to rescue a drowning swimmer.
The ad was posted online just days after seven people drowned across the country over the Easter Long weekend.
Royal Life Saving Society Australia CEO Justin Scarr told the Daily Telegraph: “There’s nothing funny about drowning, the ad is very poor taste, especially in such a tragic week.”
He added: “It’s incredibly insensitive to the 250 families who lost loved ones to drownings in the last 12 months.”
GetUp! said this morning it would withdraw the ad, which criticsed the Coalition’s climate change policies. The ad was intended to show across cinemas in its targeted electorates.
GetUp! told B&T: “We have heard the criticism of the Royal Lifesavers and are pulling our satirical ad about Tony Abbott’s inaction on climate change, which was slated to begin airing in cinemas next week.
The organisation will be replacing the ad with a more literal ad concept featuring the footage of Tony Abbott laughing along with Peter Dutton about “water lapping at [the] door” of the Pacific Islands due to rising sea levels.
GetUp! added: “We have the greatest respect for Australia’s lifesavers and apologise for the insensitivity of the timing and subject matter of our planned ad.”