Client: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: Fishing Hurts
Timescale: 1 August - ongoing
Since 1980, animal rights organisation PETA has campaigned against
fishing in the US and Canada, using poster and TV advertising and
pressing the Boy Scouts of America to withdraw its fishing merit
This year PETA brought the campaign to the UK where angling is the
country's most popular participation sport.
To raise awareness of the suffering of fish at the hands of the
recreational angler and the commercial fishing industry.
Strategy and Plan
European campaigns manager Dawn Carr led the anti-fishing campaign in
the US and Canada and came to the UK on 1 August to spearhead the
British drive. The main thrust would be a poster campaign showing a fish
hook impaling and tugging at the cheek of a wide-eyed, suffering dog.
with the caption: 'If you wouldn't do this to a dog, why do it to a
Early PR activity was sparked by a call from a Daily Record journalist
to ask Carr if PETA would also be contacting the Scouts Association in
Britain to urge it to drop its angling badge. After PETA confirmed this,
many newspapers contacted Carr, who talked about PETA's stance and drew
attention to the poster.
Measurement and Evaluation
PETA has not undertaken formal evaluation but coverage has appeared in
major newspapers. Although many were unsympathetic - for example,
expressions of indignation at the charity's desire to ban fishing and
keen angler Jeremy Paxman denying fish feel pain - Carr says this was
expected. PETA claims hits to the website have increased by 475 per cent
since the publicity.
Carr says: 'Our goal is to get angling banned, but we have to measure
success in different terms. For each person who looks at the image of
the dog and decides not to go fishing, that is a success.'