ASA censures RSPCA over anti-dog hunting campaign

An RSPCA national press campaign to ban hunting with dogs has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA received 20 complaints about the campaign created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, including an official complaint from the Countryside Alliance.

One ad was captioned “Whatever you think about foxes, you have to admire their guts” and showed pictures of a dead fox with abdominal injuries.

The complainants successfully challenged the claim that “death usually occurs by disembowelment” and that the picture had not represented what usually happened to a fox killed by hounds.

Other complaints were also upheld against the advertisement and another about staghunting, which carried the headline: “It’s hard to swim when you have been running for three hours.”

A poster ad for Harp lager, supporting a World Cup newspaper promotion, was criticised for encouraging excessive drinking.

The advertisement, by Irish International Advertising & Marketing for Guinness Northern Ireland, showed 11 cans of lager arranged behind a football with the headline “Think you can manage this lot? Play Harp the Mirror World Cup Fantasy Football league and win 5,000”.

Shock tactic poster campaigns from the Commission for Racial Equality and Talk Radio also came under fire for breaking advertising rules.

Both advertisers will be the first to have all their poster ads pre-vetted through CAP’s Copy Advice Team for the next two years under new rules introduced on June 1.


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