Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Barclaycard rodeos are no laughing matter

Posted: 19 January 2007

Barclaycard has bucked the trend to use CGI images of animals in TV ads with its latest spoof commercial promoting animal rodeos. The ad made by Q1 Commercials for Bartle Bogle Hegarty, depicts Green Wing actors Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt, driving to a rodeo filmed in Brazil. As they watch the rodeo one of them tries riding a bucking bronco and is seen trying to stay on the horse for as long as possible, while it is bucking and eventually he is thrown, much to the amusement of the cowboys watching.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of ADI said: “We have complained to Barclaycard before about using performing animals in their TV ads and this ad in particular resonates with us because of the animal suffering associated with rodeos. We have waged a successful campaign to stamp out the use of performing animals in advertising and traveling circuses as the animals suffer greatly in captivity and from the harsh training regimes off the set. In this case, it is not a matter of whether the animals suffered for the advert, but the fact that Barclaycard is making light of an activity that is so cruel that it would be illegal here in the UK. Barclaycard is being completely irresponsible promoting rodeos this way.”

Liz Alabaster, PR manager for Barclaycard: “We are of course concerned that proper care is taken when animals are used in our advertising.”

ADI has written to Green Wing actors Mangan and Rhind-Tutt urging them to denounce rodeos.

Rodeo suffering

Rodeos make animals suffer from injury, pain, stress and fear. Frequent transporting makes for additional stress. The same animals are used again and again in rodeos, having to perform several times in one event. Afterwards they are loaded up and transported to the next event.

The flank stank, a strap around the sensitive lower abdomen area, makes them buck when it is pulled tight as the horse or bull leaves the chute. When the strap is removed, the animals stop bucking. Spurs and electro shocking devices may also be used.

Injuries to rodeo animals can include broken bones, contusions, concussions, skin-abrasions and internal bleeding can occur. Some disciplines can result in broken necks and spines or even an animal’s death.

Bulls and horses are tormented in the chutes prior to release into the ring. Riders dig spurs into the animals’ flesh. Tail-twisting is another painful way of forcing the animals into aggressive behaviour.

ADI’s campaign to end the suffering of animals in entertainment – specifically in films and print, cinema and TV ads – has resulted in Toyota taking their elephant ad off the air; D&G partner Seiko watches pledging to review using performing animals in their advertising; Barclaycard chief executive promising a review of their advertising agency; all Endemol celebrity circus programme sponsors pulling out of the series; and GMB Union pledging not to use live animals in future campaigns.

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Animals in advertising protest campaign

ADI’s campaign has gained momentum over the past year aimed at some of the world’s major brands such as Coca Cola, Toyota, Saab, Diageo, D&G, Abbey, Barclaycard, Visa, Sony Ericcson, Unilever, Big Brother producer Endemol and organisations such as the GMB Union and HM Revenue & Customs. The campaign includes mobilising supporters to write to newspapers in protest as well as their MPs and the Government.

Animal Defenders International (ADI)

With offices in London and San Francisco, Animal Defenders International (ADI) is a major international campaigning group, lobbying to protect animals on issues such as animals in entertainment and their use in experiments; worldwide traffic in endangered species; vegetarianism; factory farming; pollution and conservation. ADI opposes violence or intimidation whether directed at humans or other animals.

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