The advertising watchdog has banned a TV ad for Vegan Friendly UK after receiving complaints about graphic violence against animals.
The ad, which was shown in March, was intended to highlight potential hypocrisy among the meat eaters who said they cared about animal welfare.
It showed two women and a man eating around a table, interspersed with clips of a fish head still gasping for air, a live piglet next to a pig with eyes closed and a cow’s face that seemed to have tears streaming from its eye. . Another clip showed a cow’s skinned head with eyes and teeth still on its side.
As the people continued to eat at the table, there was a caption, “No animal was harmed, consumed, or bought to create this ad,” followed by the text, “Make the connection.”
Although the ad was subject to a restriction that prevented it from showing near programs likely to be viewed by children under the age of 16, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 63 complaints, including that the ad contained needless violence against animals, which caused unnecessary distress to viewers.
Vegan Friendly UK, which certifies restaurants and products as vegan-friendly, said the images are no different from displays seen in the windows of butchers or fishmongers on the average high street, and that the clips “would not look out of place in a kitchen program or a nature documentary”.
The organization said the ad was intended to highlight “a person’s potential hypocrisy and the contradictions between what people said and their actions,” encouraging meat eaters who opposed animal cruelty to reconsider eating meat.
It said the ad did not slander meat eaters, but “promoted love and compassion for all beings and discouraged discrimination against other living beings”.
However, the ASA determined that several clips were “likely to cause distress to both younger and adult audiences,” while the manner in which the ad was shot, in a “quick succession of clips” combined with “the juxtaposition between the adults eating and the animal images, would increase the distress of viewers.” The ASA noted that visiting a butcher or watching cooking shows “was an active choice that entailed different expectations than those of TV ads.”
While some of the viewer’s complaints related to defamation of meat eaters, the ASA did not enforce them, stating that it was clear “the ad was trying to emphasize how people’s actions are not necessarily consistent with their beliefs” and “probably not widespread.” cause violence”.
It ruled, “For those reasons, we concluded that the ad was likely to cause distress to both the younger and adult audiences and was therefore not suitable for broadcast on TV, regardless of scheduling constraints.”
The ASA concluded that the ad should not be re-appeared, adding: “We have told Vegan Friendly UK not to use any imagery that is likely to cause distress to both younger and adult audiences.”