Unilever urged to drop bullrun TV ad
20 June 2007
The Unilever company has been urged to drop a television advert which uses a bullrunning theme to promote a deodorant. In a letter of complaint, ICABS stated: "We are thoroughly disappointed that your company felt it was appropriate to associate a product with an event which has been internationally condemned for its animal cruelty."
The Sure for Men advert, currently being shown on Irish and British television, starts off with a man packing for a holiday to the "Running of the Bulls, Spain". In his suitcase are a Pamplona guide book and a Pamplona street map. Throughout the ad we see him running from various creatures (bears, wolves, rhinoceros) before he is eventually welcomed into a bullring at the end.
In a letter of complaint to Unilever, the Irish Council Against Blood Sports, pointed out the reality of bullrunning:
"As we have an ongoing campaign against bullfighting and bullrunning in which we encourage Irish holidaymakers to avoid supporting this cruelty, we are calling on Unilever to withdraw this offensive advert," we added.
Please join our call to Ulilever to withdraw the Pamplona ad and to give a commitment that cruelty-based themes will not be used in future marketing campaigns.
To whom it concerns:
I wish to make a complaint about the current television advert for Sure for Men. I find it extremely offensive that Unilever is using a bullrun theme to promote one of its products. Bullrunning, as you may be aware, involves terrible cruelty to animals - electric shock prods are used to make the bulls run, they are at risk of sustaining injuries (including broken bones) and afterwards, in the local bullring, they are brutally tortured and killed. Furthermore, bullrunning can be fatal for the human participants - over the years, at least 13 people have lost their lives at the Pamplona run.
Surely, this is not the type of activity Unilever wants associated with its company. I hope you can urgently act to have this offensive advert withdrawn.
Thank you. I look forward to your positive response.
Scenes from Unilever's "Sure for Men" advert
Photos: The reality of the Pamplona bullrun