Vegan Friendly ad banned because of graphic images of animals in need

Compilation of animals featured in Vegan Friendly UK advertisement

The Advertising Standards Authority received 63 complaints about the ‘graphic’ ad (Images: PA)

An ad for Vegan Friendly UK was banned for “graphics of animals in distress next to people eating”.

More than 60 complaints were filed with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after footage showing a cow’s skinned head with eyes and teeth remaining was broadcast on television in March.

Two women and a man were seen eating around a table, alongside clips of a fish head still gasping for air and a live piglet next to a pig with its eyes closed.

As those at the table continued to eat, the text read, “No animal was harmed, eaten, or purchased to promote this advertisement,” followed by the text, “Make the connection.”

First, the ASA banned the advertisements from being broadcast on or alongside programs that might appeal to children under the age of 16.

Vegan Friendly UK said the clips did not depict acts of violence or harm and such images are regularly seen in butcher or fishmonger shop windows on the average UK high street.

According to a statement on the ASA’s website, the company didn’t think the advert caused any problems but said it was justified if it caused a breach given billions of animals were killed in the meat industry.

The panel later ruled that it should not be re-released as it “would likely distress both younger and adult audiences”.

A screenshot from the Vegan Friendly UK advertisement showing a live piglet next to a pig with its eyes closed

A screenshot from the Vegan Friendly UK advertisement showing a live piglet next to a pig with its eyes closed (Image: PA)

“We have instructed Vegan Friendly UK not to use any imagery which may cause concern to both younger and adult viewers,” the ASA added.

This comes as an advertisement for Tesco’s Plant Chef burgers has also been banned over “misleading” claims that the products are better for the environment compared to meat equivalents.

Some 171 complaints have been sent to the federation over claims that shoppers are “doing their part” to fight climate change by switching to vegan burgers.

The ad, which ran on TV and radio, included a voiceover that said, “We’ve reduced the price of dozens of our Plant Chef products because a small trade-in can make a difference for the planet.”

The ad also features the face of a cow with tears appearing to be streaming from its eyes

The ad also features the face of a cow with tears appearing to be streaming from its eyes (Image: PA)

While similar claims have been made in the past, Tesco has no evidence, the ASA stressed.

The supermarket chain said the claims were not “absolute environmental claims” nor were they meant, as they did not claim the products were fully sustainable or good for the planet.

“We expected to see evidence of this based on the full lifecycle of the Plant Chef burger versus a meat burger,” the ASA said.

“However, we were aware that Tesco had no evidence regarding the full life cycle of any of the products in the Plant Chef range or the burger featured in the ads.

“We could therefore not compare the overall environmental impact of the product over its life cycle with that of a meat burger.”

A Tesco spokesman said the supermarket was “disappointed with the result”.

They added, “We are committed to making it easy and affordable for our customers to incorporate plant-based meat alternatives into their diets and recipes.”

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Vegan Friendly UK for comment.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/08/vegan-friendly-ad-banned-over-graphic-images-of-animals-in-distress-16789291/ Vegan Friendly ad banned because of graphic images of animals in need

Justin Scacco

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