BWG Position Statement

Christmas message: Please avoid using brachycephalic animals in marketing and advertising

Dec 14, 2018

“Christmas is a time of celebration; the Brachycephalic Working Group urges companies to avoid using brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals in any marketing and advertising campaigns and instead to promote positive animal welfare through more responsible use of pet imagery.”

Inappropriate usage of pets across many forms of advertising and marketing materials has the potential to normalise hereditary defects, poor welfare, and inappropriate diet and housing. Sadly, it can also drive demand for certain breeds and types of animals with physical and behavioural problems that are not always immediately recognised by the public. The Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) considers that we each have a social and moral responsibility to work together to protect the health and welfare of current and future generations of animals from problems associated with extreme conformation.

As part of our wider efforts towards more responsible messaging, the BWG supports the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) recommendation that all animal imagery in advertising  should depict pets in situations that meet their welfare needs as far as possible. The BVA Pets in advertising: A social concern guidelines aim to provide good practice guidance on the responsible use of pet animals in advertising, marketing and communications materials. The guidance covers all representations of pet animals in advertising or communications materials that may influence owner behaviour, including the use of cartoon and computer-generated images (CGI). The recommendations made in these guidelines are intended to support decision-making on the use of animals in marketing materials and to enable advertisers to promote positive animal welfare through the appropriate use of animal imagery.