MLA to fight Australian Conservatives for Lambassador

Terry Sim, October 26, 2018

The Australian Conservatives Lambassador imagery being opposed by MLA.

MEAT & Livestock Australia will register the Lambassador term and fight its use by the Australian Conservatives Party in advertising.

MLA managing director Richard Norton told a Senate Estimates hearing of the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee on Tuesday that Lambassador Sam Kekovich featured in most of MLA’s lamb marketing campaigns.

But he said Mr Kekovich has done an advertisement with Australian Conservatives federal leader senator Cory Bernardi “saying that even the Lambassador is behind him.”

“MLA would never endorse any of our previous material being used for a promotion of any politicial party.”

MLA has sought, but been refused a retraction of the Australian Conservatives’ use of the word ‘Lambassador’ in an October 12 post featuring the well-known lamb industry promotional tool Kekovich.

MLA managing director Richard Norton.

Mr Norton told the senators MLA had asked Mr Bernardi to “cease and desist”, but Mr Bernardi had clearly indicated “he will not.”

“So we have a number of clauses in our contracts with Sam Kekovich … which obviously explain that he should not be doing this type of conduct.

“The question around the word Lambassador, whether anyone owns that word or not, that’s what we are now going to fight with the senator, Senator Bernardi.

“We will protect levy payers’ interests, who invest a lot of money in the Lambassador term, which one could say was created by Sam Kekovich and MLA,” he said.

“We are not saying much to Sam apart from that you must abide by the clauses in your contract which say you should not do this and then we are going to go further with Senator Bernardi and say that we will demonstrate to him that the name Lambassador is the intellectual property of MLA.”

After the hearing, Mr Norton said MLA had always “owned the name” Lambassador.

“We never thought that we would ever have to register the name Lambassador against a political party.

“It’s a process and we will prove that it has been our term for the last 10 years,” he said.

“It’s just disappointing and there is no doubt that you could spend levy payers’ money all the time protecting against these sort of things, but who thought 10 years ago that we would have to register Lambassador to protect it against a political party who wanted to use it to gain votes?”

Mr Norton said MLA would register the name and then take legal action against Mr Bernardi’s use of the Lambassador term.

“I don’t think Sam is bringing MLA into disrepute, but I am quite sure that Cory Bernardi is determined to bring MLA into disrepute, mainly because we are trying to protect the IP of the lamb producers that funded the Lambassador campaign.

“We are taking legal action to register the IP now and then ask for the campaign to be taken down.”

Mr Norton said Mr Kekovich is an outspoken individual that who has never been a conformist to a legal contract.

“Quite frankly, we’ve just got a smile on our face about Sam Kekovich – it’s Sam Kekovich.

“I don’t know that he is completely forgiven, we would ask him not do this sort of stuff.”

Mr Norton said MLA was not going to sue Mr Bernardi over the issue.

“We are just going to ask him not to use Lambassador.”


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  1. Tom Casey, October 28, 2018

    Typical politician; bet it was a freebee after us paying Sam a fair bit over the years.

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