A recent advertisement for an Australian retailer has sparked controversy online after it made a joke about the origins of coronavirus. Notably, the advertisement shows footage of an Australian family fishing and camping and a coronavirus joke is made about eating a bat sandwich.Also Read - New COVID Variant Omicron: Why is The New Variant Dangerous, Safety Measures And Everything You Need to Know

According to BBC reports, a spokesman of Boating Camping Fishing store (BCF), an Australian camping retailer, said that the light-hearted advertisement was designed to encourage people to explore their own backyard while there remain several travel restrictions around the world. Also Read - Health Authorities in Telangana On Their Toes After 43 Girl Students Test Positive For COVID19 in Sangareddy

“Of course we understand the severity of the pandemic and spread of Covid-19 but it is clear that this ad is framed in the same spirit,” said the spokesperson. Also Read - Omicron Variant: AIIMS Chief Randeep Guleria's Stern Warning People Should NOT Ignore | Read Here

However, many didn’t like the intent of the joke as the mention of bat seems like a dig at the speculation that coronavirus originated in a wet market in China after someone ate a bat. Many labelled it as ‘inappropriate and insensitive’.

Watch the ad:

After the widespread backlash, Australia’s leading watchdog Advertising Standards Bureau has initiated a probe into the controversial ad footage.

A spokesman of the watchdog said, “Ad Standards has received a number of complaints about the BCF summer campaign commercial and is in the process of assessing these complaints to see if they raise an issue.”

On many occasions, China has vehemently refuted the charge that novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan and has also asserted that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places in the world. China has been proactively questioning the widely-held view that the deadly outbreak broke out in a wet market in Wuhan where the live animals are sold. The market remained closed and sealed since early last year