WWF backlash works in its favour

WWF's head of press and media relations has said the adverse reaction over the 'Stinky Fish' campaign actually made more people aware of the issue.

'If anything, the hullabaloo that surrounded Stinky Fish helped push the issue further into the spotlight, encouraging more people to think about the seafood they are buying,' said David Cowdry.

Cowdry is speaking at the Charity Communications conference next week about how he dealt with the furore over WWF's campaign to encourage consumers to buy sustainable fish.

Launched in conjunction with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in January, the campaign called unsustainably sourced fish 'stinky'. But the fishing industry said the campaign was damaging and the MSC disassociated itself from it.

Cowdry will tell delegates that instead of pulling a campaign, they should try adapting it. 'Behind the vociferous debate surrounding Stinky is a very serious message. 

'WWF did not withdraw the site but improved it, taking on board the comments that were voiced by both the seafood industry and the public,' he said. 'Any campaign will draw flak, but you don't have to give in,' he added.

Cowdry will appear at the Charity Communications conference on 8 May. Other speakers include the former editor of The Sun Kelvin MacKenzie and The Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee.

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