Page last updated at 20:46 GMT, Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Peta Hitler dog breeder advert 'not offensive' says ASA

ASA Logo (copyright: ASA)
The ASA said the image and text were emotive but not offensive

A poster targeting dog breeders which features a white puppy with a Hitler-style moustache is not offensive, the advertising watchdog has said.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) advert caption reads: "Master Race? Wrong for People. Wrong for Dogs. Boycott Breeders. Adopt."

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rejected a complaint from the Kennel Club that it was offensive.

The advert originally appeared in Birmingham to mark the Crufts dog show.

It shows a Maltese terrier with a black comb strategically placed across its upper lip.

In 2008 the BBC announced it was suspending coverage of Crufts pending further investigations into the health and wellbeing of pedigree dogs in the UK.

Consumers were likely to understand that the advertisers were expressing their opinion

It followed the broadcast of a BBC One programme that year which identified serious issues affecting the health and welfare of some pedigree dogs.

Welfare concerns also led to the RSPCA's decision to withdraw its support in 2008.

The ASA said it had carefully assessed three complaints "but did not consider there were grounds for a formal investigation".

An ASA spokesman said: "We acknowledged that the image and text were emotive but did not consider the ad was likely to cause serious or widespread offence or to mislead.

"Consumers were likely to understand that the advertisers were expressing their opinion."

Meanwhile, Peta's Poorva Joshipura said it was not the advert that was offensive "but the false and dangerous belief that some breeds or races are superior to others".

The Kennel Club said it had complained "on behalf of all of the responsible pedigree breeders - and indeed pedigree dog owners - who love and care for their dogs and who know that they lead very healthy and happy lives".

It said it believed that "to these people the advert is highly offensive and very misleading".

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