Marmite moves to quell ad furore with £18,000 RSPCA donation

Unilever has donated £18,000 to animal rescue charity the RSPCA in an attempt to ward off accusations it ridiculed animal rescue workers in its latest Marmite advert.

The move comes after the TV spot, which features a spoof rescue unit travelling around the UK recovering “neglected” jars of Marmite, racked up more than 400 complaints to the advertising watchdog since launching earlier this week (5 August).

A spokeswoman for Marmite says the donation was made to “support the great work they are doing to combat animal cruelty”. The company has previously stated it was never its intention to cause offence.

Matt Cull, fundraising manager at the RSPCA, says the the funds would make a “massive difference” to the animals and that the charity was “grateful” for the gesture.

He adds: “Love the advert or hate it – we are thrilled to announce that Marmite have put their money where their mouth is and are spreading the love for animal welfare by making a donation to the RSPCA,”

“Marmite have offered us £18,000 – which is how much it costs to run our inspectorate service for one day.”

The brand’s spoof advert has been criticised by viewers, with complaints varying from it in “poor taste” to being “deeply offensive” because it “trivialises” the work of both animal welfare charities and child protection agencies.

The ASA is currently logging and assessing the complaints but has made no decision on whether it will investigate the ad.

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