A leaflet from the sports fashion brand showed a man riding a horse. The animal’s head was pictured being pulled upwards, its teeth bared and eyes rolled partially back into its head.
The leaflets were called offensive and irresponsible by 29 complainants because they showed the horse apparently in distress. The mailshot was also criticised by 25 of the complainants because the rider was not wearing a hat.
Fat Face said the stable that supplied the horse confirmed the animal had not been hurt during the photoshoot. The company added that after consulting equine experts over the areas of concern that had been raised, it had decided not to use horses in photo shoots. The clothing brand withdrew the mailing when it became aware of customer worries.
The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the image was in breach of its code and likely to cause “serious offence” to some readers. It also said that the mailshot condoned unsafe practices.