Out-of-home comapny Ooh! Media has rejected a billboard ad by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for being "too graphic" across three of its Melbourne sites.
The ad, designed to remind people that mulesing remains a cruel and painful practice, was rejected on the grounds that the image may be too confronting for viewers.
"We turned down this creative because it did not meet the Australian Association of National Advertisers’ Code of Ethics, which is an industry standard that we take very seriously,” an Ooh! Media spokesperson told AdNews.
The billboard was supposed to be erected at three separate sites in Melbourne in Collingwood, Fitzroy and St Kilda.
"This isn’t about Ooh, with whom we enjoy a good working relationship, it's about the fact that, all too often, images and video footage of routine, legal practises within the wool and other animal abusing industries, are deemed 'too graphic’ to be shared with the public," PETA told AdNews in a statement.
"As Paul McCartney said, 'if slaughterhouses had glass wall, everyone would be vegetarian' and if people could see the cruel practices stitched into every wool garment, they'd also likely banish wool from their wardrobes. Mulesing is a bloody business, and that's what needs to be banned, not the campaigns to expose it."
PETA contends that, since millions of sheep are forced to endure this "archaic and horrific" procedure in the wool industry, those who buy wool should see the truth.
The ad features a picture of a sheep's bloody backside with the skin hacked off, a common practice in the wool industry, alongside the words "Did your jumper cause a bloody butt? Mulesing: still a real pain in the arse. Wear vegan."
"If this image is too painful to look at, you can imagine how it must feel to have it done to you," PETA spokesperson Emily Rice says.
"Mandatory pain relief in Victoria is a minuscule step in the right direction. However, we won't celebrate until this horrific practice is banned for good."
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