Boots accused of dog cruelty

Boots has been accused of cruelty to animals after the advertising watchdog received several complaints that a scene showing a child pointing a hair dryer at a dog in its Christmas ad.

Boots chirstmas ad

‘Let’s make you into a unicorn’ scene features in Boots Christmas ad.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 5 complaints to date about the spot from people who say it is “harmful” and “irresponsible” because the blow dryer could harm the dog’s eyes. Separate complaints accuse the spot of encouraging children to use electrical devices.The watchdog has not yet decided whether to launch a formal investigation.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA says brands using animals in ads should make sure they are not causing them any “suffering or distress”

She adds: “”Showing actions that children may copy is also a concern, as although the production company may have taken every care not to compromise the animals welfare, a child copying at home will take no such care.

A spokeswoman for Boots says: “We have been delighted with the great response we’ve had to the new Boots UK Christmas Advert, and particularly to Bandit the dog. We would like to reassure all customers that the advert fully complies with all advertising regulations around children and animals and has been approved by Clearcast. Bandit’s trainer was with him on set at all times and he was properly supervised during the filming so we could ensure that all of his welfare needs were met.”

The 90-second spot, which features a number of families giving gifts, broke at the weekend (10 November). It introduces the new strapline “Let’s feel good. Let’s give gifts that keep on giving.”

It is the second Christmas ad to attract controversy this year. Asda’s festive spot has attracted hundreds of complaints that it is sexist.

Readers' comments (9)

  • Oh for goodness sake, why not complain about the child been dragged along hanging onto her father's leg while you're at it, or the wanton spraying of aerosols, there's even a bit of gingerist discrimination if you look hard enough.

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  • Do some people have nothing better to do with their lives than complain about inane things?!
    I personally like the advert and can relate to a couple of the scenarios, and I am their target market - makes it a winner in my eyes!
    The dog is hardly being mistreated, and kids are more likely to paint their grandparents' nails than point a hairdryer at a dog - GET A GRIP BRITAIN!!!

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  • What an absolute load of rubbish, I found the advert soft and amusing. I have 3 of this type of dog and when I use a hairdryer 2 ignore it and 1 of then lines up to have his hair done.

    people please find something intellegent to wine about.

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  • Oh dear lord! Really? I'm sure plenty of people blown dry their dog after a bath and don't think anything of it! I'm sure the majority of people think 'awwww, how cute' at the advert rather than 'oh that poor dog, I must complain'!

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  • I don't even know why an article has been put out over 5 complaints.
    The whole issue is a non starter, the dog is fine and probably lives a happier life than the dogs owned by those that have complained.
    If i was a dog and my owner had time to complain about something so irrelevant i would be worried.
    I shall repeat what Rebecca has said, GET A GRIP BRITAIN and to the 5 who complained....GET A LIFE!

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  • I cant agree more with the comments above. If the dog didn't like it, no matter how trained it was it wouldn't sit on a film set for hours while filming was taking place. Similarly, a dog at home won't hang around if it doesn’t like something. As for encouraging children to use electrical devices...what do you think a games console is and unfortunately loads of children are glued to those! If you want something to moan about take a look at the news headlines.....oh and GET OUT MORE.

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  • Cmon give me a break....ridiculous complain

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  • anyone who thinks this is cruelty to animals are on another planet.
    I have a Cavalier and that is how I dry her after a bath. She loves the blow dryer!

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  • I have a cavalier and as soon as I saw this ad I thought it was the cutest concept id ever seen! I give my dog batman ears all the time :L I feel sorry for the complainers of this .. you've gotta be pretty miserable to formally complain about a light hearted advert at christmas :/

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