RSPCA in protest over Five show

The RSPCA’s press and PR efforts to rally public support around its battle to prompt action against the misuse of animals in Five show The Farm has seen complaints to regulator Ofcom rocket.

As PRWeek went to press, the media watchdog had received 137 complaints about the series and 34 specific complaints about an episode in which Rebecca Loos extracted semen from a pig.

RSPCA concerns drew wide support, including coverage in The Sun, an appearance by a representative on Channel 4’s Richard and Judy and backing from the likes of Uri Geller.

The charity has ramped up its press and PR work to bolster its daily email complaints to producer Endemol and to urge people not to watch the show and complain to the programme’s makers, the broadcaster and Ofcom.

The campaign follows RSPCA complaints about the treatment of animals in ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! and comes ahead of a separate lobbying campaign around the proposed Animal Welfare Bill.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: ‘We hope that broadcasters will stop airing these reality TV shows that [go] too far. They enhance people’s phobias of animals and we have had reports of people mimicking [The Farm] with things like tarantulas in pub contests. We are delighted that people have been so supportive.’

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