A television advertisement of a child sitting on the back of a Great Dane caused quite a stir as well as an investigation this week in the United Kingdom. The photo printing firm Photobox received hundreds of complaints listing both safety hazards as well as animal cruelty allegations.
According to BBCNews, three television ads featured a family barbecue with the parents shown taking a photo of their son posing on the back of the family’s Great Dane. The accompanying voice stated:
‘This pleasant get together shall soon be shattered for a photo storm bruise. Mum, dad, weird cousin Brian, hold aloft your camera phones for you are about to capture gold.”
One of the complaints came from the RSPCA stating the photo could encourage parents to pose their children in unsafe and cruel situations. How many times do we see unaccompanied children acting too rough with their pets? How many times have dogs been euthanized because children have been left alone and accidentally injured?
Photobox stated the boy and the dog were filmed separately, and “at no point did the boy actually sit on the dog.” The company said a veterinarian was on the set during the production of the commercial and provided the Advertising Standards Authority with a copy of the vet certificate stating the dogs were never under any risk or suffered any injuries. The company did add that the scheduling of the advertisement was not shown around children’s programming so as not to encourage children to try the stunt.
What we do worry about however are the parents who would try that. We’re sure Photobox can do better and do more to keep pets and children safe. What are your thoughts?
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