Open Farm Sunday founder Ian Pigott has hit out at the way advertising agencies use stereotypical images of farming to help sell big brands like Crosse & Blackwell soup and 32 Red Online casino.

The Harpenden farmer, speaking at the Sentry conference this week, described it as the “phenonmenon of green washing” where advertisers try to associate major brands with a green, environmental and farming message.

“They want to do this because farming is honest and earthy and that’s the hook they want,” he said.
“But it reinforces every stereotype and it isn’t always helpful to encouraging young people into it as a career route.”

Mr Pigott, who is currently an adviser to the Channel Four series First Time Farmers, wants the industry to be more in control of its own communication strategy and be more proactive with social media to counteract negative lobbying.

First Time Farmers was attracting an audience of 1.4 m viewers each week with very positive storylines and appealing to a bright young audience that might be interested in agriculture as a career, he said.

Mr Pigott this week takes over as chairman of Sentry farms from David Richardson who is retiring from the role after 22 years service.

What’s your view of the way farmers are represented in the 32 Red Online casino ad? Watch the video and comment below.

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Ian Pigott explains why he thinks First Time Farmers is good for agriculture