WKD pulls Christmas dog ad following uproar

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WKD has been forced to pull a Christmas poster following a string of complaints from animal lovers.

The RTD brand has been running an outdoor campaign featuring a picture of a dog and the words: “Just a few pounds a week could give this dog a home. It could also buy you a WKD”.

The poster sparked a flood of complaints, with comments on the brand’s Facebook page such as: “You should be ashamed of yourselves”, “It is immoral and completely sends out the wrong message”, and “You should send your marketing department out to work with a local animal rescue for a day”.

As of 11am this morning, the Advertising Standards Authority had received 56 complaints about the advert.

WKD owner Beverage Brands said its campaign was never meant to offend. “However, in response to consumer reaction we have instructed the outdoor advertising contractors to remove the poster with immediate effect,” it added. “This may take up to 72 hours to complete.”

Beverage Brands also said it was making a donation to the RSPCA.

Meanwhile, rival RTD brand VK has responded to the uproar by promising to donate 1p from every bottle of VK Blue sold between now and New Year’s Eve to charity Dogs Trust.

“It only seemed right in the circumstances to share some festive goodwill with our canine companions. We’re a nation of dog lovers who can’t wait for Christmas and it’s great to think that people can share VK and help a great cause”, said VK founder Steve Perez.

Readers' comments (14)

  • Just what were you people thinking? And now to say you will donate money from every bottle sold too little too late. A very good friend of mine who owns a bar is now taking all wkd off sale she said she will never sell another bottle and will make her own donation to dogs. You will loose a lot of money from using this advert hope your marketing dept are worth all the money you pay them. I am very surprised that a company of your caliber could be so insensitive especially when it is well publicised about how many homeless dogs there are. Would you put a picture of a starving child no I don't think so but then again anything to make money!

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  • This was brought about by members of boxerdogrescue.co.uk One membersaw the ad & posted it to the boxer page. We then posted it to our profiles. We all also complained to wkd fb page & to SHS drinks directly

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  • what a shame you chose to donate to the over inflated rspca...you should of donated to some local rescues who get little help and yet do so much more than the rspca ....

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  • It's VK that are donating 1p per bottle, not WKD. in my opinion them jumping on the back of this is JUST AS BAD!

    WKD have withdrawn the advert and made donations not just to the RSPCA, but also to Dogs Trust and smaller, independent rescues across England, Wales, Scotland, NI and ROI.

    As someone who made a complaint initially - I'm satisfied they have done enough now to makes amends. It wasn't executed in the right way, but at least it has raised awareness of the plight of dogs at Christmas

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  • Debra smith.......... VK is a different brand to WKD! Agree with jakki, they should have supported local rescues, the RSPCA is the richest charity going.

    At least some good has become of this.

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  • Well I am a volunteer / Fosterer for GSDR German Shepherd Dog Rescue and at present foster 2 1 being an Ex Failed Police dog, I also own a small hotel and Bar, as of today I am removing the said mentioned products from the bar, I am disgusted about the Ad and also more angry that you choose over rated Highly paid and funded charities as mentioned please can you post and forward my message to both companies maybe they would like to take an interest in www.germanshepherdrescue.co.uk we all work hard for nothing as volunteers in the U.K and already the Ad has been posted on our Facebook page with over 4000 members looks like a lot of people will be posting over the next few hours, I look forward to a response from said companies and yourself if you can forward to said companies.Thank You Wayne Whitehouse

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  • As a dog lover and a member of German Shepherd dog rescue, I am all for rescues receiving donations. But why donate to a rescue that already receives enough money.
    Put your money/donations who struggle to keep these poor animals in a safe and warm environment.

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  • Check your facts Jakki they are donating to The Dogs Trust not the RSPCA and also the staff of the RSPCA work extremely hard & on minimum wage to care for all the animals that this so called animal loving country dumps. I am pretty sure you wouldn't be volunteering to to their job for the money they get

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  • They have a red squirrel one, too, because loss of habitat and species endangerment is so, like, wicked, man.

    Presumably their marketing department have identified 'despicable s***heads' as a demographic worth pursuing.

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  • its not just the dogs though i saw one with a gorilla on. i think they should donate to each charity they upset with all their ads not just this one. it was in poor taste and they have done it for the sensationalism cos everyone will now remember WKD

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