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.