Anti-animal testing ad banned for ‘unjustified graphic violence’

An ad featuring a battered woman with mascara being applied to her face by a dog’s paw has been banned by the advertising watchdog for using unjustified graphic violence.

The billboard for Against Animal Cruelty Tasmania was taken down after a single complaint was made by a parent of two children.

The complaint read: “My five and four-year old boys become distressed and are afraid to look at the billboard. They, along with me, find the billboard disturbing and scary. It makes them cry and cover their eyes as they are worried about the women and what’s happened to her.”

The ASB ruled that while the advertiser had a valid message to be broadcast, “the graphic nature of this ad is not warranted on a billboard where it could be seen by children. In the Board’s view the ad presents violence in a manner that is not justifiable in the context of the product being advertised.”

AACT objected to the ruling. Chris Simcox, the group’s coordinator, told Mumbrella in a statement:

We are concerned that the ASB has forced us to remove the billboard on the basis of a single complaint. We have had the billboard in circulation for 12 months with only positive responses otherwise. It is important that this message can be publicised and the ASB’s determination means we are unable to continue to deliver the message to the people that need to see it.

The nature of the animal testing is disturbing and very violent. The general public do not see what horrors go on behind closed doors to get cosmetics and personal products onto the market. We think that a billboard with a graphic image is justified. We believe consumers need to know the suffering that is contained in the products they are buying.


  1. Sarah Greenaway
    28 Mar 12
    5:13 pm

  2. What a lot of bullshit. The reason why we’ve degenerated to the place we have where we allow animal testing, live animal export and factory farming is because it’s tucked away – hidden from view.

    I commend AACT and love the ad. I have two small kids and I believe they need to know this stuff. How is this any more or less graphic than the ads depicting carnage on the roads or domestic violence?

    28 Mar 12
    5:24 pm

  4. She should have tried botox first

  5. Amelia
    28 Mar 12
    5:38 pm

  6. One complaint! When does the minority dictate everything. The ABS needs to grow a set.

  7. Katie
    28 Mar 12
    8:34 pm

  8. Maybe instead of complaining she should have calmly explained to the children what the picture was all about. But no, let’s cover it up and take it out of sight just like all the cruelty we inflict on so many innocent animals. The ASB is pathetic!

  9. JB
    28 Mar 12
    10:50 pm

  10. Isn’t the only “unjustified violence” being perpetrated against the animals? But perhaps animal testing of cosmetics is not violent so much as horribly cruel.

    But the ASB ruling makes the reviewers sound less than razor sharp:

    1. The graphic nature is no less warranted by the ad’s proximity to a school – it might just be less appropriate;

    2. The ad depicts the results of animal testing by superimposing those impacts on a woman’s face – it does not present violence at all;

    3. There is no product being advertised: it is a political campaign to change animal welfare laws and/or consumer/manufacturer behaviour;

    4. The depiction of the consequence of animal testing, if accurate, would seem to be entirely justifiable in the context to the serious animal welfare issue at stake.

    The decision of the ASB should be appealed.

  11. ER
    29 Mar 12
    9:40 am

  12. Ridiculous.
    This is an informative ad using creative license.
    And it is not a battered woman – it’s a woman showing the scars and chemical burns that animals get when this complainants mascara or her children’s shampoo is tested on them.
    It’s a sad use of regulatory power.

  13. Bollocks
    29 Mar 12
    9:47 am

  14. @Sarah Greenaway- I couldn’t agree more. This is one of the many reasons we live in such a f*****d up world. People should face the facts- it’s NOT all glamorous and it IS a cruel industry. No amount of ignorance will change that!

  15. Nige
    29 Mar 12
    11:24 am

  16. Good. This billboard freaked my 4 year old son out and caused him distress. In the car park of a supermarket next to a primary school is not where this image should be.

  17. Chips
    29 Mar 12
    1:00 pm

  18. I’m sick of hearing about precious children, a child can grasp more than most people give them credit for with a simple explanation and they need to know about this incredibly sad part of the industry just as much as we adults do. Explaning these facts to someone’s children shouldn’t be someone eles’s responsibility.

    I think this whole campaign is brilliant and should be commended and the decision appealed.

    @ER I completely agree.

  19. Gezza
    29 Mar 12
    2:56 pm

  20. I hadn’t seen this ad before but I am pleased it’s been banned. It will achieve nothing other than reinforce the views of the animal liberation mob and just turn off the majority from the topic. I think most young children would find this needlessly distressing. Gratuitous violence. Eco porn.

  21. Gezza
    29 Mar 12
    2:59 pm

  22. And while I’m at it if Katie, Sarah,JB et al can honestly say they do use any everyday products that have been tested on animals I may take their preaching more seriously.

  23. Sarah Greenaway
    29 Mar 12
    3:16 pm

  24. Yes, I can say that I don’t use any ingredients that have been tested on animals. I rely on and the Shop Ethical iPhone app to inform my choices. You know what? Needlessly distressing is using a rat’s skin to test chemical ingredients for cosmetics, burning a rabbits eyes to test corrosive chemicals, exposing a mouse to fumes to test bathroom cleaning products or using a dog to ‘taste test’ pesticides. Millions of rats, rabbits, mice, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories right across Australia (and, for that matter, the world).

    Eco porn? I find it so bizarre that people like me, who give a shit about screwed up stuff like testing on animals, are maligned as the strange ones… We have to put up with sarcasm and cynicism from people like you every day. It’s getting boring and, frankly, it’s obnoxious. Eco porn… Puh.

  25. Ouch
    29 Mar 12
    3:25 pm

  26. While I’m at it Gezza, got any children so you can back up what you think? My kids find it distressing that people would do that to animals. It does what it’s supposed to do which is get people thinking and create outrage (which it’s even done here) in the hope of necessary change. What should it be replaced with – a big shiny new car with a supposedly clever little quip on how it will change your life? How bloody empty.

  27. JB
    29 Mar 12
    3:26 pm

  28. Yeah, good point, Gezza, but I was not preaching; I was merely bemoaning the paucity of logic and reason apparent in the Board’s decision.

    From your first post I gather you are pleased it will be banned as it will not harm or does not help AACT in its mission but mainly because it is “needlessly” distressing.

    Clearly animal welfare activists believe a graphic depiction is necessary to drive home the point that testing chemicals on animals has hideous consequences.

    People should be distressed by this image when they know what is supposed to have caused it. But the woman in the image has not been struck! So there has been no violence in that sense.

    Furthermore, as it is a static image, any distress should be minimal or explainable by a responsible adult because the image is probably no more confronting than a picture of someone suffering shingles or severe sunburn, or advanced melanoma, which could look equally hideous and unsettling.

    With what children are exposed to on the 7pm news, you might say needlessly, I think there is a justifiable reason for risking exposure of this image to children.

    When I was in primary school, I was shown a conservation film that showed a man shooting a polar bear. It was quite upsetting, but educative, and impactful in the long term too, as is this ad.

    An effective way of shaping attitudes is from an impressionable age, and the image is nothing from which a child will not soon recover, and probably remove from their conscious mind, distracted by their PS2, until the memory resurfaces in a different context, at a later age.

    I believe striking a balance between sparing the sensibilities of young children and their parents by banning a depiction, not of violence, but of the consequences of severe skin and soft tissue irritation and the rights of animals to be spared such treatment is unutterably in favour of protecting the defenceless animals who have no voice and no parent to explain why or what happened.

  29. Ouch
    29 Mar 12
    3:26 pm

  30. Chips – wonderfully put.

  31. Gigi
    29 Mar 12
    3:28 pm

  32. @Katie – I couldn’t agree more with your comments.

  33. Ouch
    29 Mar 12
    3:29 pm

  34. Oh the irony of the Watch’DOG’ who won’t protect the real innocents.

  35. Sarah Greenaway
    29 Mar 12
    3:42 pm

  36. Yes, I can say that I don’t use any ingredients that have been tested on animals. I use various reputable sources to inform my choices. You know what? Needlessly distressing is using a rat’s skin to test chemical ingredients for cosmetics, burning a rabbits eyes to test corrosive chemicals, exposing a mouse to fumes to test bathroom cleaning products or using a dog to ‘taste test’ pesticides. Millions of rats, rabbits, mice, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories right across Australia (and, for that matter, the world).

    Eco porn? I find it so bizarre that people like me, who give a shit about screwed up stuff like testing on animals, are maligned as the strange ones… We have to put up with sarcasm and cynicism from people like you every day. It’s getting boring and, frankly, it’s obnoxious. Eco porn… Puh.

  37. Harry
    29 Mar 12
    3:49 pm

  38. She need more than a little eye mascara before she hits the town tonight

  39. Gezza
    29 Mar 12
    4:02 pm

  40. @JB, I agree with the idea that kids can be shown graphic images on serious topics and that animal testing / cruelty is an entireley appropriate topic for children. You mention the example from your own experience of the polar bear, presumably documentary movie showing real life. If that had been an ad showing a woman being shot it would be like this TVC, pointless and gratuitous. I would have no problem with teachers showing a video of the animal labs and the awful things that happen there. The kids can ask questions and put it in context. I stand by my point that this particular ad is simply intended to shock and make the eco warriors feel even more self righteous than they already do.

  41. John
    29 Mar 12
    4:06 pm

  42. WOW with just one complaint you can kill off your competitors whole advertising campaign and all for the amazing price of one email. What’s even more appealing than the low cost price is the fact you can do it anonymously.

  43. Claire
    29 Mar 12
    4:30 pm

  44. @JB point 14 – what you said
    @ Chips point 9 – what you said too. I have a young baby but I tell you what, he will not be shielded from the truth. If he finds something distressing it will be explained to him what it is about so he has a better understanding of it.
    @ Nige (point 8) did you explain to your 4 year old what the picture was about? (Not having a go at your parenting, it’s just a question). If kids are educated at a young age then perhaps this world we live in might start looking at animals as living creatures and not ‘test pilots’. And yes Gezza, my everyday and every other day products do not harm animals :)

  45. JB
    29 Mar 12
    4:44 pm

  46. Gezza, very thoughtful of you, but even if I accept that the ad is as bad as you say – intended to shock with gratuitous imagery – and make eco warriors feel self righteous, surely they are bi-products of the ad, not its dominant purpose, which is to draw public attention to the mistreatment of defenceless animals.

    And what is so wrong with that when it is in a good cause? If the kids can deal with it – which they should be able to – then the ad should stay. Really, the ASB should not have done anything without expert evidence from a child psychologist.

    This image is no more alarming, really, than the anti-tobacco images, of oral cancer, that are widely visible throughout society.

    Two worthy causes and while I believe the motives of both advertisers are sincere, I do not believe any untoward (secondary) motive you apprehend is relevant if the bigger picture is that the ad contributes to public awareness and helps spare sentient beings from hideous torture, pain and suffering.

    I must say, while you sound reasonable to me, you objection does seem somewhat personal, being about motives that you cannot prove and which really are beside the point.

    I should point out that I am merely a concerned citizen and in no way involved with animal liberation – yet.

    All the best.

  47. JB
    29 Mar 12
    4:48 pm

  48. PS – Gezza, the AACT ad in question was a billboard, not a TVC, as I believe your suggested, above.

  49. Katie
    29 Mar 12
    5:17 pm

  50. Wow! You really are showing your ignorance Gezza. Firstly, yes I do choose each and every product (cosmetics, clothes, food) I used by whether it is an animal product or has been tested on animals. You will find that the majority of animal rights activists do the same (because we give a damn!). We don’t do it to feel self righteous and the very fact that you would suggest that just shows you up for the uninformed, negative, uncaring individual that you so clearly are. Why is it that people like you, who do nothing for society, take it upon themselves to bag out those that do. Is it because we make you feel guilty, perhaps? And finally, the image was chosen because it WASN’T as graphic as a photo of a real animal in a real lab!! And we thought it would get the message out without distressing people. I guess you would have preferred an image of a monkey strapped down with metal rods coming out of his head? Or a cat with electrodes wired into his brain? How about the baboons in America that had their heads glued into football helmets with dental cement and then had their heads rammed into a concrete wall at high speed to see how good the helmet was? That is animal testing reality. I suggest you spend your time educating yourself about animal rights and the people who defend them instead of wasting it writing unproductive letters.

  51. Dieter
    29 Mar 12
    8:35 pm

  52. Way too hardcore for a poster. This would distress many young children and having the some people ‘torture’ animals chat with a 3 year or 4 year old is not appropriate.

    It’s too graphic for many adults.

    Personally, whilst i instinctively think nobody should be cruel to animals, better that they tests dangerous things on them, than find out if they’re dangerous when a human buys them.

    Most people accept animal testing for drugs etc.

  53. Ed
    30 Mar 12
    8:40 am

  54. @ Katie – terrifying but well said! Gezza is a moron. Maybe his/her parents didn’t explain much either. I’m no Eco warrior but I at least TRY not to use animal testing products. Better than ‘I don’t understand it, so I’ll assume it’s not that bad because that’s convenient for me’.

  55. Sarah G
    30 Mar 12
    8:54 am

  56. Dieter: Do you have three or four year old kids? I do and I think they are able to cope with confronting concepts just fine. I disagree with sheltering children from life’s harsh realities. Furthermore, who are ‘most people’? I don’t jnow many people at all who agree with any form of animal testing and it’s a topic that often comes up in conversation with people from all walks of life.

    Better to test on animals than people? Wow, how important we are, that other species should endure torture in order for us to have clear skin and low blood pressure.

  57. Stevie
    30 Mar 12
    8:58 am

  58. Dieter wrote: “Personally, whilst i instinctively think nobody should be cruel to animals, better that they tests dangerous things on them, than find out if they’re dangerous when a human buys them.

    Most people accept animal testing for drugs etc.”

    I implore you to read “What Will We Do if We Don’t Experiment on Animals? Medical Research for the Twenty-first Century” by Jean Swingle Greek, DVM, & C. Ray Greek, MD. Animal models cannot accurately predict results in humans, only clinical trials are somewhat accurate.

    And while I agree that the image is confronting, it should move us to act.

    Have you asked yourself, ‘are there better ways to obtain this information other than animal testing’?

    Have you educated yourself on the issues involved?

    Have you sought out products which are not tested on animals? (I use cruelty free products, and so far have not suffered any chemical burns or adverse reactions).

    This ad implores you not to close your eyes to the suffering of others. It asks you to find out more, to do more.

    Most importantly, it asks you to boycott products which support this kind of violence.

    If you don’t like this type of violence, you must chose not to participate in it and choose products not tested on animals. This is the very least you can do.

  59. Lisa Jenkins
    30 Mar 12
    9:05 am

  60. I have seen far worse elsewhere. Do the board members have shares in Proctor and Gamble? This should no longer be hidden from view. This and much worse is what happens every day to thousands of animals so we can wear a longer lasting lip-stick and have less wrinkles. I don’t think it’s graphic enough. The decision should be appealed.

  61. Sarah G
    30 Mar 12
    9:30 am

  62. Good to see that people who condone cruelty are fast becoming a minority.

  63. AndrewL
    30 Mar 12
    9:36 am

  64. The ad is far too graphic,
    While I don’t agree with animal testing… I am team human. I would rather not have a clinical trial that sends people blind.

    awaits the “I love my dog more than my spouse brigade” to fire up

  65. Gezza
    30 Mar 12
    10:03 am

  66. @Katie and Ed. There are many issues that concern me in the world. Animal cruelty is not, I believe, the number one issue we need to address to make the world a better place. Starvation, war, disease tend to occupy more of my mind. So I have a different world view than you. I don’t think that makes me ” moron…uncaring , negative , ignorant” But thank you for your opinion.

  67. Sarah G
    30 Mar 12
    10:06 am

  68. Why does every pro-banning-the-ad post have to come with a slanderous comment about those who don’t find it offensive? ‘The “I love my dog better than my spouse brigade”? Numpty.

  69. AndrewL
    30 Mar 12
    10:21 am

  70. Because the pro animal brigade bring up the animal cruelty argument to defend a horrifyingly graphic ad.

    I agree with Gezza, much bigger fish to fry as a species than tackling animal cruelty.
    What about the atrocities commited humans to mine the lithium that is in your phone battery or toyota prius. Everything needs context

  71. Sarah G
    30 Mar 12
    10:56 am

  72. Each to their own. It’s not a horrifyingly graphic ad. It’s just not. And the atrocities humans inflict on their own species just don’t have the same impact on me. Doesn’t mean I’m not sympathetic – I couldn’t be more so, but our non-human animal friends don’t have voices and, frankly, we’ve waged a war on them that they can’t fight.

  73. Katie
    30 Mar 12
    11:05 am

  74. Well said Sarah G. The other one we always get is: What about all the starving people and the wars? etc etc
    Well, firstly, Gezza and Andrew L, some of us are capable of caring and actually DOING something for more than one issue. So Gezza, apart from ‘occupying your mind’ and ‘concerning you’ what do you actually DO about it? There is a Budhist quote which says “Actions, not beliefs”. Maybe you should adopt it.
    Secondly, ask yourselves why there are starving people, wars, lithium mines etc? Humans! Humans are the CAUSE of human atrocities. Humans are the CAUSE of non-human animal atrocities. Humans have a voice. Non human animals DO NOT. We choose to help non-human animals for this reason. They are innocent victims of our greed, egos, selfishness and stupidity. Do we ignore their plight because we are too busy destroying each other and the planet? And I do not agree that humans are more important. All animals (and we ARE animals) deserve equal rights, deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. What is wrong with that?? We are NOT better than them. They do not destroy the planet for self gain. They do not kill for fashion, fame or status. So what makes us so special?

  75. Sarah G
    30 Mar 12
    11:13 am

  76. Katie: I think I love you 😉

  77. Gezza
    30 Mar 12
    11:37 am

  78. Hi Katie, I think your response highlights the polarity of our views. I do believe that people are more important than animals. But I agree that we can walk and chew gum so we can respond to multiple issues. Please don’t assume I do not take action on the issues that concern me, I don’t understand why you make that comment other than to devalue my opinion. I directly support the causes and issues that concern me, exactly how I do that is frankly no-one’s business but my own. On a separate point I would ask you to consider how children starving in Africa or whose parents have been killed or are dying from aids have a voice or are anything less that completely innocent. It seems you are suggesting that because the victims of war are also human some how they share in a species wide collective responsibility. Is this what you think? Peace and love, my friend.

  79. n/a
    30 Mar 12
    11:44 am

  80. I just want to say if you think that tackling animal cruelty shouldn’t be taken as seriously as other things, and if that animal was replaced with yourselves I don’t think you would be saying the same thing…I’m not saying that other animals should be treated like humans, just its pretty sad you feel it ain’t too bad to be brutal towards them.

  81. Sarah G
    30 Mar 12
    11:56 am

  82. I agree that it’s fine to agree to disagree – it’s what makes life interesting but, yes, that is precisely what I think.

  83. Ben G
    30 Mar 12
    1:05 pm

  84. Why should we allow indiscriminate psyche testing on our children’s understanding of graphic images before they are of an age to comprehend cynicism . ? .

  85. Katie
    30 Mar 12
    8:40 pm

  86. Haha, SarahG I was thinking the same thing! :)

    Gezza, I’m glad you noticed that I was making unfounded assumptions about you, because that is exactly what you were doing about us animal rights activists (feel more self righteous than they already do). It’s not very nice, is it? Especially when you’re only trying to do something good.
    And as for the children of war – if I could scoop each and every one of them up (and every other abused/neglected/sick/starving child) and carry them all to a safe, loving place, I would. Children are like animals, innocent and totally at the mercy of adult humans. Children and animals need all the protection and love we can give them.
    I sincerely hope you will look upon us ‘crazy animal activists’ with a bit more tolerance and understanding from here on in. Peace to you tooGezza (and all the children and animals)

    By the way everyone, please tune in to ABC2 on Sunday at 8.30pm and watch
    The Cove. A brilliant documentary about more (adult) human atrocities inflicted on innocent, and highly intelligent sentient beings.

  87. Grant
    31 Mar 12
    7:35 am

  88. Those who are advocating using animals in toxicity tests in these comments are clearly unaware that there are in vitro (i.e. in test tube) techniques that can be utilised instead. These tests use human or synthetic tissue and can more accurately predict human response to the toxins found in household products or industrial chemicals, for example.

    Using animals is cheap and it also helps to protect a particular company legally, should anything go wrong. These facts should not be confused with the idea that testing on animals saves humans. Companies who produce these products are looking for cheap, quick ways to test their products before they are released onto the market.

    In vitro toxicity tests using human or synthetic tissue are more expensive (despite being more accurate) and hence, companies use outdated (and let’s face it, cruel) methods of testing on live animals.

    There are several safe for human use products on the market which do not use animal testing methods. These products often avoid some of the more questionable chemicals in favour of more gentle, environmentally and human friendly ones.

    Please take the time to read up on the issues instead of assuming that companies who wish to turn a profit are telling you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

  89. ER
    31 Mar 12
    6:08 pm

  90. I can also very proudly say that I don’t use, eat, wear, or put on my body any products that have been tested on, or include the byproducts of, animals.

    Everybody has a right to know how products they use come to market – particularly those products used on the face and body, and particularly those which are built on cruelty. That’s how informed choices are made.

    Keeping children in the dark about this isn’t going to help them, it only helps the parents who don’t want to change their buying behaviour if their kids actually take notice of the message.

    Censoring this message will just keep people in the dark and keep these practices going unnecessarily.

    For example – Lipton was testing tea on animals, until recently, by hardening their arteries and giving them e. coli to try and prove tea health benefits. The animals were killed when they were done with them (if they lived through the tests), with some having their intestines cut apart whilst still alive.
    They stopped when there was public outcry, only because there was a public outcry. If people hadn’t found out about it, the tests would still be going – showing that if we don’t keep an eye on this, the industry will bring in animal testing for anything if they think they can get a profit. I’m seeing the word ‘gratuitous’ a lot – killing animals over tea (something which we know is fine for human consumption) is truly gratuitous. This ad needs to be seen.

  91. barbara
    1 Apr 12
    11:42 am

  92. Niger
    Can you tell me exactly where the primary school near the billboard is?
    The closest school is about 2 km away.
    If you don’t have the correct info,.don’t comment.
    The person thatmade this complaint is obviously a.lousy parent.
    If I were the parent I would have clearly explained that the image is not real. Surely that’s the adult thing to do. Instead some pathetic parent has let their kids be afraid and upset and not even taken time to talk to them about it. Rather than be responsible for their own lives they have had the weakness and apathy to complain to a government institution and in the great nanny state that we’ve become they let the authorities do their parenting for .
    I bet if this were a billboard (yes,.it was ONLY a billboard,.never a FCC) by some multi million dollar the woeful SAN wouldn’t even try to ban it after one pathetic complaint. They know full well that a big rich company would send in lawyers and get the media on side and once again the the ASB would be made fools of. Much easier to chase a little, non profit organisation of volunteers that want to make this works a better place and for animals. Easy easy target. Fill the ASB quota and keep the salaries for the board of reviewers. So much for democracy.
    Animal testing is one of the most evil things ever perpetuated by man.
    I hope the compainent stabs herself in the eye with a big Loreal mascara or develops a nasty underarm rash from some colgate owned anti perspirant. Then they can blame someone else for for it, complain to some anaemic government agency and stay safe at home in their suburban pergatory.

  93. Jac A
    1 Apr 12
    12:33 pm

  94. There are lots of good comments here, and rightly so. This is a very controversial topic very much because it is deliberately hidden from view for most people. If the tests were truly ethical (involving no non-human animals) there would be no need to stop the public seeing them.

    Research on non-human animals is often brutal, horrific and totally unnecessary. With a signinficant amount of public pressure, these tests could be stopped and ethical replacements used instead. Each consumer has the power to decide the fate of thse experiments by the way their dollars are spent. Having the information at their fingertips to allow responsible purchase is fundamental to the success of this process. A billboard like this reminds people of their responsibilty.

    That millions of non-human animals are still being tortured, abused and exploited, in testing, and for a great many other things, proves that many humans have little or no regard for them. That these horrific acts occur daily stems very much from the status typically accorded these non-human animals, that of propety. If humans stop viewing other species as property, and start viewing them as sentient individuals, there would be a substantive shift in the conscience of this planet.

    Much suffering would end, and peace and compassion would be become the predominant mindset.

  95. JJ
    1 Apr 12
    2:54 pm

  96. OMG Gezza seriously, have you truly seen any footage of lab animals being experimented, or product tested on…. It is so very very disturbing. My adult children were horrified and in tears. This ad merely shows what it would be like if these tests were performed on humans… I for one would have no problem explaining this to my small child who asked about it. I bet you don’t give a second thought about the kids being exposed to the 6pm news.

  97. Conscious Voter
    1 Apr 12
    2:55 pm

  98. Unjustified violences? What the hell? We can’t continue to support all the “unjustified violence” that is forced on our animal. Sickens me that the meat and dairy industry are allowed to brain wash children with fluffy stuffed pigs saying eat pork etc and the meat adds with monkeys on TV commercials, but is offensive to tell them the truth, seriously, where is the justice in that. Fairs fair if you ask me, they can put their products out in the media then why can’t we put the ugliness behind all these products out in the media as well. Put the bill boards back. These animals have the right to be heard.

  99. Lin
    1 Apr 12
    4:21 pm

  100. The image which AACT chose to use was used because it was hoped the public would actually stop and look at it. Had the image been too confronting of a distressed animal in pain frecquently people will switch off, feel uncomfortable,
    think the issue is too big for them to do anything about and simply walk away and do nothing about it. It was hoped having a human face depicting what millions of animals endure daily in the animal testing of household products and cosmetics,people would want to find out more about the issue.Hopefully people would ask questions of supermarkets and businesses selling cosmetics and decide to make ethical cruelty free choices when shopping for these products.
    The woman’s face was fake, and as only one complaint was received over the past 12 months it’s been up, it is obvious most people understood the concept.

  101. Vicki Ioannou
    1 Apr 12
    5:54 pm

  102. One complaint was enough to bring down a truthful advertising billboard ? I’m sceptical and I reckon there’s more to it than that.

  103. Finn
    1 Apr 12
    6:42 pm

  104. It’s fine to imply sexual overtones in ads; it’s fine to show the end product of the slaughterhouse industry, as distressing as it is if you find out the cruelties of the meat and dairy industries. But point out the cruelties of the cosmetics industry, and the ASB will leap to any opportunity to get the ads away. Shame on the ASB for dropping the ball on this – it’s a confronting issue. Confronting these issues is how they get resolved.

  105. Lin
    1 Apr 12
    6:59 pm

  106. There was only one complaint in the whole 12 months the billboard was up. Having received so many positive comments from people viewing the billboard-we were amazed that one complaint could remove the billboard.It was taken down because it was seen as violent by the ASB.

    There certainly wasn’t ‘more to it than that’

  107. Jac A
    1 Apr 12
    9:10 pm

  108. If you ask me, I think the Advertising Standard Bureau are having to justify their existence, if they are going to act on a single lousy complaint. There probably is more to it than that but we will never know the truth. Just as the people who question why this billboard should be allowed to exist, will likely ever know the truth of what this message is trying to reveal. Those with money will attempt to hide the truth, but those of us brave enough to seek the truth will find it.

  109. Ouch
    2 Apr 12
    1:03 pm

  110. OK Gezza, seems you’re opinion is less about the graphic nature of the animal cruelty billboard and more about how this is less of an important issue to you than starvation, war, disease etc. We’re concerned about those issues too – difference is we are as concerned about cruelty for animals too, and perhaps feel as though it is something we have some ability to influence and change for the better.

    I don’t have a cure for aids, I’m not a doctor or scientist, so I can’t do much about disease, other than donate what I can afford to fund research. As long as people believing in God and that there’s is the real God – there will never be an end to war.

    But if I can refuse to purchase anything that’s been tested on animals and explain to my kids and friends why I don’t and so on – then that billboard is doing it’s job and I feel as though I’m able to do my bit on making the world a better world for my kids.

    How about we meet half way. Let’s post a billboard to show the reality of starvation – 3 year old emaciated children’s dead bodies. Now one to show the real gore and misery of war, let’s see – another 3 year old dead child, what’s left of it after a bomb was detonated and blew it’s famliy to pieces. Finally let’s have one of a dead gay man, frail and diseased lying in his own faeces after he took his last breath.

    Should these images – and issues closer to your heart be shown and ok for kids to see as well? I’d show mine and explain it all to them. Maybe if more of the next generation are educated and not sheltered from it all – they are more inclined make a difference and find a solution.

  111. sam88
    2 Apr 12
    1:20 pm

  112. I wish the headline said “animal testing banned for unjustified graphic violence”. The billboard merely shows the reality of what happens to lab animals so if people are offended about it or worried about what their children will think, try to stop it happening, not ban publicity about it.

  113. Offal Spokesperson
    2 Apr 12
    1:25 pm

  114. Amazing isnt it, its perfectly fine to ACTUALLY DO THIS to animals, but dare we even PRETEND to show it happening and the public is offended,

    How about being offended by the everyday cruelty to animals?

  115. Gezza
    2 Apr 12
    4:29 pm

  116. @Ouch. You make some great points and I agree that it is possible to make some impact on the practice of testing on animals through our purchase decisions. I think we can also make an impact on many of the worst problems affecting the humans by financial contribution to charities or directing your super into ethical funds. But I agree wars etc – bigger nut to crack and really not much your average punter can do.

    I’m sure that I said in an earlier post that I had an issue with the depiction of the woman and that I would have preferred (ie believed to be more effective) a truthful depiction of the animals being tested. This is because I imagined the “conversation with the kids” would be initially spent explaining why the people who did the ad were using a visual metaphor rather than simply showing animal testing. A matter of opinion I grant you. I remember seeing animal cruelty / rescue ads over the years eg the bear whose spleen is drained and finding them brutal but true and ultimately effective.

    Having considered this a bit further over the weekend – and based on some of the comments above – I now think that the portrayal of the women has been chosen (in part) to reflect a belief that there is moral equivalence between animals and humans and that is in part the objective of the ad. Not just to say “How would you feel if this was done to you?”, But to go further and say “Doing this to a human is the same as doing it to an animal”. Maybe I’m slow and the penny has just dropped but that commentary was not given in the author’s explanation. I’m fairly certain that the majority of people who may support the idea of reducing or eliminating animal testing would draw the line there, and while it is a philosophical point, I believe that advocacy ads should avoid covert agendas.

    And yes I would have no problem showing the war / starvation images to children as long as they had a clear narrative or are shown in context to inform and educate and ultimately change behavior. As a wise person once said; “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way”.

  117. Vicki Ioannou
    2 Apr 12
    5:07 pm

  118. When I was a young student, I remember going to the school library and and seeing graphic photographic images of wars and war victims shown on the covers and pages of magazines like Time and Paris Match. As a child, I found it very ugly and confronting, yet I understood it in the context that it was shown – snapshots of what is going on “over there”, but not here in my own comfortable, clean suburban environment. Those were other peoples’ mothers, brothers and children with their limbs torn from their bodies and their heads blown in half lying atop a rubbish dump or in a city gutter. Hence, I never had any illusions or romantic notions of war and the toll it can take on people, animals and places. Also, having travelled as a young teenager and personally witnessed things that I am certain one would not see in the streets of Sydney or anywhere else in Australia for that matter, I can testify that I grew up with a seriousness of mind and opinion when it comes to matters of violence and death. My point is that today’s kids can take images such as that billboard (which is a visual fabrication, for chrissake) and responsible adults should be able to explain exactly what the point of it is.

  119. Adrian from Holland
    3 Apr 12
    6:25 pm

  120. It is indeed correct that animal testing is “unjustified violence” (towards the animals used for it, and humans after them that react differently to substances tested) …

    & that is EXACTLY why this should be shown to everyone!

    Why can this not be shown? Because people, animal-loving civilians, will want to stop it!
    That’s why.

    Our governments may think we are stupid (or even classify us as terrorists), but only thing we are guilty of is being to kind. We should act up even stronger than we already do!

  121. Orlando
    5 Apr 12
    12:11 am

  122. I wonder if it was really the children who were upset. Perhaps it was the mother with a guilty conscience, because she uses cosmetics that are tested on animals.
    The public has a right to know about the cruelty involved in producing most of the products they buy.

  123. melissa
    9 Apr 12
    3:23 am

  124. Great Comments Katie and others who have supported defenceless animals.
    This issue seems to have slipped from public consciousness – hence the need for billboards like this to remind us. Recently, I tried to buy a cruelty -free mascara, the pharmasist in one store said ” I dodn’t realise they were tested on animals”. a young saleswoman at another said ” surely that doesn;t happen any more”. I found mascaras and other potions where a whole side of the package was devoted to glorifying the choise of ” green” ink, paper etc, yet not a word aboutr the animals. Clearly this manufacturer believs the consumr is more cocerned about the ink and paper than sentient being who are made to unneccessarily suffer horrific abuses, for the sake of, perhaps, a mascare that may last longer.

    I urge people who are concerned about this issue, to make their feelings known to businesses.

    Ironically, there is no law preventing the mother from thrashing her child, yet she was able to get an important billboard, one that could potentially protect thousands of defenceless beings, pulled down.

    I don’t hold that her childs ‘ distress’ was more important that the real suffering of countless animals.

  125. Concious voter
    9 Apr 12
    7:20 pm

  126. Gezza-you are clearlyone of those unfortunate individuals who need to keep arguing but have exhausted any logical rationale for their argument. Clearly no matter how much you tout the starving africans etc, you are really one of those individuals who want to spent their whole lives ignorant to the impacts of our self indulgent choices have on other living beings, I seriously doubt hat you give a hoot for any one outside your front door. I you were a compassionate human being you would cre about what happens to any being (animal or human) who is suffering. Lets be honest, you are just defending a life style that you know is wrong. Give it up