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PETA UK and the Advertising Standards Authority

Written by PETA | May 6, 2008

Those wily British counterparts of mine just won’t stop pushing the envelope. I wrote last week with some pride about how their “Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse” ad made the BBC’s top 10 most controversial ads list—well, according to The Guardian, they’re at it again! Apparently there have been complaints about the anti-KFC ad pictured below. Some nannies are worried (not kidding) that it “breaches the advertising code’s stipulations on responsible advertising, decency and causing fear and distress.” A couple of points here: 1) I’ll admit that the prospect of KFC slicing up defenseless animals is both frightening and distressing, but surely that’s KFC’s fault, no? 2) As PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told the journalist who wrote the Guardian piece about this ad: “The cartoon image of Colonel Sanders killing a chicken on our leaflet is obviously a caricature – a comic. We cannot imagine that our leaflet would provoke fear in anyone unless the reader was a chicken.” ‘Nuff said.


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  • Ellie Gahan says:

    When i became a vegetarian at the age of seven it was because i imagined the meat on my plate before it had been killed. A pretty little lamb running around a field. If i had known the true horrors of factory farming such as those used by KFC i would have been truely horrified yes. But the truth is it is happening. And what gives anyone the right to create some humane ideology in childrens minds when this simply is not where meat comes from in todays society. Everyone has the right to the truth and i find attempts toward hiding and dismissing ads that portray it show the guilt of the trade. Animal cruelty cannot be hidden when so many will work to exploit it and in turn help aid the improvement of animal welfare.

  • lynda downie says:

    What a perceptive and thoughtful thing to say Antigone!

  • Antigone1000 says:

    I commend PETA for showing the truth. Too many people have the expectation that the truth should be sugarcoated to make it more palatable. Unfortunately the animals who suffer can’t turn away from the horrors perpetrated by humans why should humans be allowed to do so?

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Michelle Hey there. I appreciate your comments. I should mention that I am not objecting to the featured KFC ad mostly the other things I mentioned. The sad thing for me is that I DO know how great PETA staffers are and I think that just a few over the top PETA stunts overshadow all of their efforts. The general public won’t all attend the conferences and shouldn’t have to it should be made clear through the way PETA conducts their campaigns that they have integrity and are thoughtful towards others. I should also mention that I really did love Bruce’s interview and totally agreed with it I was just shocked that some of PETA’s most far reaching campaigns contradict those very words. Using the words “child abuse” and using a pedophile as a role model is just so inflammatory I think it hurts the cause. Just my opinion though.

  • Michele says:

    Anyone who has any question about PETA’s tactics should consider joining the Augustus Club andor the Vanguard Society and attend one of the membersonly conferences in May or October or somehow attending one of their weekend Helping Animals conferences. I just came from a 3day conference at their Norfolk headquarters and it was the most uplifting AMAZING experience! These people are working tirelessly to help all animals who experience ALL forms of exploitationcruelty and they continue to do so with a very positive outlook. They have what is a VERY small budget KFC alone spends more on advertising in one year than PETA has in its entire budget and they use what they can to get free or inexpensive publicity newspaper articles OpEd pieces letters to the editor etc etc etc. They always have a huge spike in their website traffic whenever they are mentioned regarding one of these “controversial” ads or stories. They have just reached the 2 MILLION member mark too! yay! oh and if everyone actually took the time to really know what the PETA folks are like they would know that PETA staffers and volunteersinterns are anything but lazy when it comes to any of their campaigns or any of their work for that matter

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Thank you Mark. I don’t know of any other animal group on Earth who protects those villified creatures. I’m glad I’m not alone in this!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Ana You make me laugh. You speak out against animal abuse. Does that make your comments “negative”? Of course not and my comments against sexism and violence are not “negative” either. And you blatantly disregarded the hundreds of times that I’ve praised PETA with no negative comments involved for their efforts. Anyway you’re welcome to continue trying to censor me if that’s your goal.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Ana You make me laugh. You speak out against animal abuse. Does that make your comments “negative”? Of course not and my comments against sexism and violence are not “negative” either. And you blatantly disregarded the hundreds of times that I’ve praised PETA with no negative comments involved for their efforts. I’m glad you’re a teacher because that means you’re intelligent enough to know exactly what I’m talking about. And don’t hide behind your “Peace” comment when you’re obviously trying to censor me. You know as well as I do that my restrained comments don’t come anywhere near the racist misogynous and disgusting obscenities that are often on this blog.

  • Mark says:

    Maya C.V.T. wrote “They are one of the few groups who stand up for my favorite creatures like lobsters crabs fish and reptiles who are so horribly tortured in this world.” Good point there. The more different they are from us the easier it is to abuse them and the more they need us to stand up for them.

  • Ana says:

    Hi Maya I have no problem with your perceptions but your constant negativity has really gotten old. The people in history who made their mark were people with a positive vision and made positive affirmations. Maybe you can consider that as well. Jack allows even the most offensive comments to be posted so is that where you compare yourself and feel justified? You find it very easy to sweet talk hunters and other animal abusers why not take a turn and give positive comments on this blog occasionally. Those types of comments invite goodness. Peace! that’s positive and good also

  • Maya, C.V.T. says:

    Hi Ana! Well I would argue that the best leaders in American history made it a point of surrounding themselves by people who disagree with them. I’m not saying I’m anyone important not at all. I’m just a shmoe spelling? who leaves comments here. However they are just that comments. This is the comment section. If Jack thinks I’m out of line he is MORE than welcome to not post my comments. I’m serious about that. Until then I’m going to tell it like I see it. I am most certainly not with antipathy about PETA. They are one of the few groups who stand up for my favorite creatures like lobsters crabs fish and reptiles who are so horribly tortured in this world. But I will not support violence or sexism and will speak out against it every time until I’m silenced.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    This picture very simply tells it like it is. And thats that! Peace For All Animals!

  • Ana says:

    Hello Maya I think the ad is necessary to convey the horrors fear and violent deaths that chickens endure daily. I would also ask that you try to be a lot more positive in your outlook when it comes to conveying this message to a largley ignorant and apathetic public. I am surprized sometimes that you continue to write on this blog when most of the times you write your antipathy for PETA and the work they do. Certainly PETA has done some serious blunders and there are things they do and say that I do not agree with but I make the effort to focus on the positive. Maybe you should consider doing the same. Peace!

  • Sydney says:

    I support this 100.Children need to see what the world really is.They cant live in a fantasy world for the rest of their lives.Trust me reality will come in handy.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Annalena I agree completely. I think that PETA’s videos do a good job of showing that in fact I’m always shocked even though I think I’ve seen it all. It’s just that campaigns and quick slogans leave so much room for misinterpretation of course you and I get it but the average person may look at it as inyourface hostility. That drives people away. Videos leave no room for misinterpretation. The animals don’t make this stuff up. Proof is proof. Peace sister. I appreciate your respectful comment!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Hi Mark I became a vegetarian when I was 15 and PETA changed my life. I lived in the back woods of New Hampshire and was laughed at by most people so I am eternally grateful to PETA for being my only support system at the time. But later on as a shelter worker and vet nurse people would straight up tell me that PETA gave them the impression that animal caregivers were hostile and violent. It hurt us big time. On this blog I’ve seen a pedophile praised horse manure dumped outside of a restaurant and people being assaulted with food. It’s rude immature and violent. PETA should be controversial. You guys are clever enough to do that without violence sexism or praising a child pornographer. That said I love you guys and I’m not trying to be a pain in the neck. Peace.

  • lynda downie says:

    Thank you Peta UK for having the nads to tell it like it is. The message is straightforward and honest unlike the poultry ads that show hens all too happy to be someone’s meal. How about truth in advertising? As for inducing fearplease like Ingrid said only if you’re the chicken.

  • Mark says:

    Maya When we are speaking with individuals or giving presentations or doing other grassroots work it is the time to be as Bruce says mature educated and understanding. But the purpose of this campaign is to get media attention because it is necessary to reach large numbers of people and media attention is the only way to do so with PETA’s limited budget. There is no other way to reach enough people to pressure these companies to make changes. And even when being controversial PETA does its best to handle every media campaign in a way that is mature educated and understanding. Tactics like these are why PETA is the most successful animal rights organization in the world. Everyone Else Incidentally because PETA’s budget is so limited 30000000 is not a lot when the goal is total animal liberation we should all give monthly donations to ensure that PETA has consistent support. You can give just 5 or 10 dollars a month! Less than most people spend on coffee! The link to the monthly donation page is on my name. Please

  • Joan says:

    Anna I could not have said it any better you read my thoughts exactly !

  • John Carmody says:

    It’s true we need to expose the corruption and the cruelty Boycott KFC Ireland!!!!!

  • Annalena says:

    I agree with you though Maya. I think classy campaigns would do a world of good. However showing the realities of heinous animal treatment is very expository for many people. Shock is in its own way effective in startling people out of complacency.I think this is much more relevant and purposeful than hiring celebrities to strike sexy poses.

  • Annalena says:

    Hmm. Well yes it is distressing but it is the truth. Children see vulgar advertising on television all of the time. Axe spray anyone?Beer advertisments?Huge gory movie posters?Commercials are filled with highly suggestive material and half naked women undulating for the delight of men. This is no worse than sexually charged commercials or violent movie trailers played during all hours. I rarely see people complaining about those.Except for the important fact that this poster is meant to inspire compassionate change. If people can not truthfully tell their children where their food came from or are disgusted by the image above they should not be meat eaters. People should be comfortable with what they are eating.

  • HannaBanana says:

    If we hid all truths this world would be even more horrific than it already is. Good for you Peta!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Is this the mature educated and understanding advocacy that Bruce was discussing? Hmmmm. Just seems like a lazy and ineffective campaign.