Have you seen the latest news from the famous Westminster Dog Show? Turns out their viewers are turned off by Pedigree’s ads promoting dog adoption. You know – the ones featuring dogs left in shelters because someone didn’t spay/neuter their pet, or someone thought “forever home” meant just until their dog got to be too much trouble? So Westminster dumped Pedigree and their dog adoption drive.
Yes, I know there’s a lot to be said for upbeat messaging in promoting pet adoptions. But this still makes me angry. We’re fighting so hard every day to save more and more lives and Westminster and their viewers want to sweep it under the rug. Something is wrong with that.
According to a Yahoo! News story posted yesterday, “Pedigree was ‘surprised and disappointed’ when it was dropped by Westminster”, senior [Pedigree] brand manager Lisa Campbell said. Campbell said Westminster had made it clear in recent years ‘that we had become too focused on adoptions.'” Too focused on adoptions? How can anyone be too focused on adoptions when, according to the ASPCA, 3-4 million pets die in shelters in the US each year because there’s no one to adopt them?
And Purina? They stepped right up and took over for Pedigree. A Westminster spokesman, according to the article, said Westminster will have input into the commercials Purina will show. Purina is paying Westminster, probably many millions, for the advertising rights, and still they let them do that? Apparently. Will the new ads even promote adoption? Or is the mere mention of homeless pets too much for the folks at Westminster, too?
The next time someone tells me that dog show professionals really care about the dogs – I’m going to suggest they tell that to the folks at Westminster.
Pedigree’s 2010 “Shelter dogs aren’t broken” commercial promoting adoption:
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