The head of Advantage SA, an Australian media company involved in the sorry deaths of more than 50 goldfish in a publicity stunt gone wrong, has apologised.

The company delivered 55 goldfish in a bowl with the text: “Be the big fish in a small pond and come test the water,” to encourage media agencies to promote South Australia.

The company says the fish were hand-delivered alive to the offices of media reps and left with six months worth of food. Alas, many didn’t survive the wait to be delivered.

One person who received a lifeless gift, anonymously posted the following on marketing website Mumbrella: “We get a deluge of gifts this time of year, although not all smell quite as bad.”

“We offer our sincere apologies. There was absolutely no intention to cause distress or harm to the fish,” a spokesperson told ABC Radio Adelaide.

She said the company had already received several complaints and urged all media agencies with unwanted fish to return them.

“We are willing to collect any fish not being looked after and provide them with a good and healthy home.

“In hindsight we would probably not do this again.”

The company says it will be making contributions to both the Animal Welfare League and the RSPCA.

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