But what do banana growers make of this appropriation of their fruit? We asked Tony Heidrich, CEO of the Australian Banana Growers Council (ABGC):

Crikey: How does the Australian Banana
Growers Council Inc feel about the s-xualisation of bananas?
TH: We don’t really have a view … however it’s certainly not a new
phenomenon, bananas have been viewed as a phallic symbol for thousands of
years.

Crikey: Does it besmirch the banana’s
name?
TH: I suspect it would take more than a few
newspaper adverts to do that.

Crikey: Is there any outrage among banana
growers?
TH: I have had a couple of
complaints from banana growers in relation the adverts and my mum seemed to take
offence, but I don’t detect a massive groundswell of
outrage.

Crikey: Banana growers are already
battling in the wake of Cyclone Larry, does this make things
harder? And do you think it will make people
think twice about eating a banana?
TH: I don’t think people
will be put off eating bananas as a consequence of the
ads.

Crikey: Have you received any licensing
deals for this use of the banana as an advertising euphemism? Shouldn’t Bayer pay you guys at least a small
fee?
TH: No … but perhaps we
should approach them!

Crikey: How would the Council feel about
teaming up with growers of a smaller round fruit (eg kiwi fruits) to do
a special fruit package? Could there be an adult audience willing to pay more
for a banana in this form? Maybe you could turn the big banana into an adult
industry hot spot…

TH:
Banana and Kiwi fruit
go nicely together in a fruit salad so I guess a pre-processed adults only
concoction may have its place, I’ll pass that idea onto our marketing company. I
suppose you’ll expect a royalty as well for coming up with the
idea.

Crikey: Nope, consider it a gift from us to the banana industry.

Peter Fray

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