The Advertising Standards Authority has dismissed a complaint about an email sent by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation, which featured a gif of a dog being hit with a club.
According to the ASA ruling published today, the complainant had said “they received no warning about the content in the email before they read it and saw the imagery, challenged whether the ad was likely to cause unjustified fear and distress and was offensive”.
Peta told the ASA that the email was sent to over 800,000 people who had given their permission to be contacted and it was meant to raise awareness “that dogs were slaughtered for their skins”.
The charity also said that the subject line should have alerted readers to the content.
“Peta said many people who viewed their photographs or videos would be upset by them, but the ad was designed to motivate people to campaign against animal abuse and ads that contained graphic images were more likely to solicit donations or petition signatures,” according to the ruling.
The ASA investigated whether the email had breached rules for harm and offence but found in favour of the charity.
“While we acknowledged the ad contained violent and shocking images, we considered that because it had been sent to those signed up to receive emails from Peta, and because the subject line provided a degree of warning regarding the content of the email, it was not likely to cause serious or widespread offence or to cause fear or distress without justifiable reason,” the ruling said.