The RSL has blasted as "insulting" a cosmetic surgery company's Anzac Day competition which urges women to rate their breasts for their chance to win two tickets to the AFL showdown between Collingwood and Essendon on April 25.
The Anzac Day Mateship Competition has also been condemned by a former defence member and wife of a war veteran, who said exploiting the meaning of Anzac Day to get more clients through the door was "quite appalling".
REAL Cosmetic & Plastic surgery, based in Melbourne, has been advertising the competition on its website and on social media, where it urges women to enter the competition to "celebrate happiness this Anzac Day".
"REAL wants you to take some time with a friend to remember the courage shown by our soldiers," the website states.
"Win a highly-sought after ANZAC Day football experience for you and your bestie valued at $1369..."
The package includes accommodation, entry to a pre-match event, full bar service, transport to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and reserve seating to watch "one of the biggest matches on the football calendar".
The winning woman and her "bestie" will also each receive a complimentary consultation with plastic surgeon Stephen Salerno, valued at $190 each, the website says.
"Sounds too good to be true? It is! But entering is easy! This is a game of chance - so simply complete the questionnaire below," it says.
Those questions include:
- How would you rate your breasts?
- What bra cup size would you love to have?
- How would you celebrate with your bestie after getting the breasts you truly desire?
Major-General David McLachlan, the Victorian RSL president, said the competition was entirely inappropriate to link to Anzac Day, and he would contact the Minister of Veterans' Affairs, Michael Ronaldson, to have it shut down.
"I find it insulting to those who have served, and it's something that should not have any connotation of Anzac Day attributed to it," Major-General McLachlan said.
"This is the first I've heard of it and I will be contacting the minister right now."
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Michael Ronaldson, condemned the website and said permission to use the word “Anzac” in connection with such competitions could only be granted by the minister.
“I demand that this site be immediately pulled down. This is an unauthorised use of the word 'Anzac’,” Senator Ronaldson said from Turkey ahead of Anzac Day commemorations.
“The Government, and I as Minister, will not tolerate this sort of disrespectful behaviour, especially in the lead up to the Centenary period.
“The Government will vigorously pursue any individual or organisation who breach these regulations.”
According to the Department of Veterans' Affairs, regulations were introduced in 1921 to protect the word Anzac, and any word which resembles it, from inappropriate use.
The regulations state that "no person may use the word 'Anzac', or any word resembling it, in connection with any trade, business, calling or profession or in connexion with any entertainment or any lottery ... without the authority of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs".
One woman complained on REAL Cosmetic & Plastic surgery's Facebook page that Anzac Day had nothing to do with a woman's breast size.
"As a former Defence member & the wife of a war veteran, I find this to be a truly insulting use of the ANZAC Day mateship [sic]," the woman wrote.
"I am sure to be disagreed with but to use ANZAC Day Mr Salerno as a way to get more clients through your door is quite appalling, you should be ashamed at your blatant disregard for what ANZAC Day represents & it doesn't represent bigger, smaller boobs etc."
Mr Salerno and REAL Cosmetic & Plastic surgery have been contacted for comment.
The company's website said the competition had closed early on Tuesday afternoon.
with Amandah Hoh
The story Cosmetic surgery company's Anzac Day competition angers RSL first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.