22 May 2000
Pigmeat ads ‘like Benetton’s’

ADVERTISEMENTS for British pigmeat are similar to controversial promotions by clothes company Benetton, it has been claimed.

The hard-hitting Meat and Livestock Commission campaign draws attention to high UK standards which prohibit stall-and-tether housing and feeding bonemeal.

The first phase of press adverts showed a pigs head near the edge of the page showing how much space pigs have to manoeuvre in some countries.

This could be followed by an advert showing a sow suckling her piglets with words to the effect: “Shes feeding them. Soon she could be fed to them.”

Peter Scott, head of the British Meat Federation, told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme he was unhappy about the campaign.

He said the second advert is “rather along the lines of the adversarial advertising Benetton go for,” and will be speaking to the MLC.

Benetton has become notorious for running advertisements which deliberately court controversy.

It was recently condemned for a promotion featuring US prison inmates on death row

Mr Scott said the MLC adverts would confuse people and could damage pigmeat sales.

“People are not entirely sure if this is an advert for pigs, or whether its an advertisement for vegetarians or the Animal Liberation Front.

“I question whether the housewife wants to know that sort of information. Weve always tried to differentiate between animals and meat.

“You dont have to eat pigmeat and, if you get an adverse message, or if it looks like an adverse message, there are plenty of alternatives in the marketplace.”

But Chris Luckhurst, marketing manager for pigmeat at the MLC, said consumers were not confused, and that the adverts were thought-provoking, not adversarial.