Peta ad banned by ASA for claiming wool is 'just as cruel as fur'

There were 10 complaints over claim from animal-rights organisation.

Peta: ASA said ad was misleading
Peta: ASA said ad was misleading

An ad encouraging people to steer clear of wool by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The out-of-home campaign showed a woman with the neck of her jumper covering her face alongside copy that read: "Don’t let them pull the wool over your eyes. Wool is just as cruel as fur. Go wool-free this winter."

The ad watchdog received 10 complaints asking whether "wool is just as cruel as fur" was misleading.

Peta said that even though the public has become more aware of the cruelty that exists in the fur trade, similar issues in the wool trade were not as well-known. It provided the ASA with reports on abuse to sheep by farmers, often during the shearing process.

It added that most animals in the wool trade were "ultimately killed" and that many "died far shorter of their natural life expectancy". Peta noted that while sheep naturally live to around 15, in the wool trade they are killed between four and eight years old.

"Many died from exposure to extreme temperatures, while giving birth or of injuries and illnesses that went untreated," Peta said.

The organisation added that "while the public would have different ideas about what was cruel, it was undeniable that cruelty existed in the wool industry in the same way as it did in the fur industry".

In its ruling, the ASA said the claim that "wool is just as cruel as fur" would be interpreted as meaning the conditions in which sheep were kept and the methods used were similar to those of the fur industry.

The ruling concluded: "However, sheep were not killed for their wool as animals were in the fur industry and there were standards in place relating to their general welfare, including relating to the shearing process. We therefore concluded on that basis that the claim was misleading and in breach of the code."