The RSPCA is extending its tradition of dramatic and harrowing
advertising into an assault against people who mistreat their pets
Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has produced a trio of national press ads to
mark RSPCA Week, during which the charity will focus on cases of
neglect, which make up 75 per cent of all convictions for cruelty to
The press ads are part of a three-pronged campaign that also includes
cinema and radio ads with the same theme: ‘Neglect is cruelty.’
Written by Mary Wear and art directed by Damon Collins, one of the ads
features Snowy, an abandoned miniature poodle who became one of the
stars of last year’s BBC TV series, Animal Hospital.
Another ad tells the distressing story of a dog narrowly saved from
death. The headline reads: ‘How a dog starves to death. Please don’t
read this on a full stomach.’
The third attempts to dispel the belief that only poor people neglect
their animals by citing the case of a Rolls-Royce-driving property
developer who owned a disease-ridden Great Dane. A picture of the dog
carries the caption: ‘When we rescued him we found something even more
disturbing. A fat cat.’
The national press offensive is being backed with a cinema film and
radio commercials that sustain the theme by listing the disgusting
things pets will try to eat while dying from hunger.
RSPCA figures show cases of neglect rose from 1,541 in 1994 to 1,648 in
1995, despite its campaign to promote responsible pet ownership and to
discourage impulse buying.