Leaders in the vegan world have criticised the decision to remove an ad campaign across 100 London buses.
Go Vegan World launched its billboard campaign back in June 2016 and planned a campaign during Veganuary this year. However, in December, organisers were told it had been cancelled at the last minute by Exterion Media (now Global Media), with Go Vegan World saying that the reason stated for refusal was that bus operators rejected the ads because they have previously experienced complaints about them. Among the bus operators that refused the ads are Tower Transit, Abellio, London United, Sovereign and Metroline.
The organisation pointed out that some of the ads have previously run on London buses and all of them have prior approval by the Advertising Standards Authority.
Commenting on the ads Campaign Director, Sandra Higgins, commented: “Each of the censored ads contains information that is a public right to know and that we, as an animal rights campaign organisation, have a right to state.
“Our campaign educates the public about the unfair exploitation inherent in all animal use. There are only a few voices campaigning for animal rights and we have only a tiny fraction of the funds and resources available to the animal using industries who use mass advertising which is equally ‘controversial’ to vegans. Why is the counter view, on the rights of other animals not to be used, being silenced?”
In other news, Veganuary organisers have welcomed the decision by Arriva buses to reinstate adverts it had been told would be removed. The two Veganuary ads on buses in Shropshire and Telford had been organised and paid for by a local vegan group. Arriva said it was because of complaints but would not say how many complaints had been received or the nature of them. However, in January, it was then revealed that these had been reinstated.
An Arriva spokeswoman told Health Food Business: “Recently, several adverts on our buses in Shropshire relating to the GoVegan campaign were removed due to an operational error which has now been resolved. Arriva is and continues to remain impartial to the content of these adverts and can confirm that these have been reinstated as agreed between the advertiser and our third-party supplier.”
In response, Toni Vernelli, Veganuary Head of Communications, said: “We’re delighted with the decision. These are important messages, especially while we’re watching Australia burn essentially due to climate change. It’s important that people know there’s something positive each of us can do to help the planet and alleviate animal suffering – and that’s trying vegan. And luckily, it’s easier than ever!”