A UK ad for a group called Go Vegan World that inferred farmers mistreated their animals has escaped a ban after regulators said its message “humane milk is a myth” was not misleading.
The ad featured in a number of prominent UK newspapers and came with the smaller text: “I went vegan the day I visited a dairy. The mothers, still bloody from birth, searched and called frantically for their babies.
“Their daughters, fresh from their mothers’ wombs but separated from them, trembled and cried piteously, drinking milk from rubber teats on the wall instead of their mothers’ nurturing bodies. All because humans take their milk.”
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a number of complaints about the ad, primarily from dairy farmers who said the ad did not reflect animal welfare on a diary farmers.
However, ASA rejected claims that the advert was “misleading” readers into thinking farms did not comply with animal welfare standards.
Clearing the ad, ASA said it understood the complainants concerns the ad inferred a number of dairy farms did not comply with animal welfare standards in place in the UK and milk production was therefore “inhumane” in that sense.
ASA concluded: “We understood that Defra recommended that calves should be kept with their mothers for at least 12 and preferably 24 hours after birth.
“Although the language used to express the claims was emotional and hard-hitting, we understood it was the case that calves were generally separated from their mothers very soon after birth, and we therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to materially mislead readers.”