K-Mart’s ‘Merry Ham-mas’ stirs controversy and leads to product recall

19. 11. 2023 | Natalie Bezděková

US retail giant K-Mart has been forced to pull a Christmas bag with the words “Merry Ham-mas!” from its Australian counters after it sparked controversy by pointing out that the name is reminiscent of the Palestinian terrorist movement Hamas.

It appeared to be an advertising pun combining the English words Merry Christmas and Ham. In Australia, where ham is a popular element of the Christmas feast, the bag was offered for four Australian dollars (€59) and had a drawstring to keep the ham in the fridge.

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) responded to the bag with criticism, pointing out that while it could be seen as humorous, it was not actually appropriate. In a statement, it asked the company “politely” to stop offering the product. K-Mart immediately responded to the situation, admitting the mistake and apologizing. A spokesperson for the company said that no thought was given to all the possible consequences when designing the product, which is why the product was withdrawn from sale.

The controversial Christmas bag appeared on shelves just weeks after the Hamas attack on the Jewish state that led to the deaths of some 1,200 people in Israel.

Photo source: www.pexels.com

Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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