Friday, February 5, 2010

People for the Unethical Treatment of Advertising

You've got to hand it to PETA. For every step they take towards mainstreaming their cause, they take a giant leap backwards:

Now, for those of you saying "but it's true! Psychopaths do tend to start on animals!", you're absolutely right.

But allow me to fill you in on the local context:

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) not to re-run a billboard campaign featuring Steven Barker, the man who tortured 17-month-old Peter Connelly and was subsequently found guilty of "causing or allowing" the infant's death.

The ASA received one complaint that the ad was "offensive and distressing, used unnecessary shock tactics and exploited the death of Baby P", and "was also located in the area where Baby P lived and died" (Haringey, North London), and therefore "particularly offensive and distressing to residents of that area".

The Baby P tragedy was a horrific story of child sexual and physical abuse— as well as the total failure of medical and social workers to recognize and stop it.

This is not the first time PETA has exploited human tragedy to get attention for its animal welfare cause. Last year, they ran a billboard in Berlin that juxtaposed pictures of Jews in concentration camp bunks and chickens in a factory farm with the headline (in English, to ensure international press) "To animals, all people are Nazis". It was ordered taken down.

And they've been doing it for years. In 2001, after a series of shark attacks in the U.S. left two people dead (including an 8-year-old child) they ran a billboard that said “Would You Give Your Right Arm To Know Why Sharks Attack? Could it Be Revenge?".

And then there was this:

Look, PUTA. I don't lose sleep over the fact that you sexually exploit willing women worse than American Apparel. I merely snort in disbelief when you tell me I'm abusing my child by feeding him meat. And I was kind of amused when you decided it was in your best interests to make fun of fat people.

But leave the victims of tragedy alone. Engage in cruelty-free advertising.


  1. Your signs on "Canada's Economic Action Plan" are so tacky. They actually discouraged me from reaching government programs.

  2.'s ugly as well. Just constructive criticism.

  3. I don't mind constructive criticism, Anon — but we didn't do the EAP branding, the signs, or the site. I think that was Ogilvy.

  4. People Eating Tasty Animals: Psychopathic Evil Thugs for Animals since 1980