Members of the Waterside Action Group were appaled to hear an advert for Matalan, which had as part of the script a puppy as a Christmas present.
We alerted NCDL and Animal Aid to this advert and, along with these organisations, made a formal complaint to the Radio Authority. On examining the Script the Radio Authority felt that, under terms of The Broadcasting Act 1990 Section 90(1)(a). That this advert would have in part an item, which was offensive to public feeling. Prior to this the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre had stated to us that there was nothing wrong with the advert, now accepted the decision of the Radio Authority and subsequently withdrew the advert.
Included in a reply from the Radio Authority was a letter from Sheila Borthwick, Managing Director of West FM in which she states, "my opinion, for what it is worth, is that I tend to agree with the complainant on the grounds that it is wrong to give a puppy as a Christmas present. For the same reasons he/she states in the narrative (referring to the complaint submitted by WAG). "We, in the media business have spent years getting this message through to the public, only to be foiled, when we think we have succeeded! Any reference to puppies at Christmas, no matter how well intentioned should not be encouraged in todays climate."
Thanks to WAG we have managed to make a large advertising agency waken up to their responsibility even though they opposed it. Thanks must also go to Animal Aid and the National Canine Defence League for supporting us in this complaint.