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Advert showing boy sat on dog cleared after complaints

A Photobox advert showing a small child sat on top of a dog has been cleared following over 200 complaints.

The advert features scenes of a family having a barbecue with a young boy sat on a large dog whilst his parents take a picture.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 212 complaints from members of the public as well as a complaint from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Some complainants, including the RSPCA, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was harmful to the dog that appeared in the ad.

Most complainants, including the RSPCA, objected that the ad was irresponsible as they believed the ad might encourage children or adults to emulate behaviours which they believed were potentially unsafe for them and their dogs.

The ASA stated that: “Whilst on set, the boy and the dog were filmed completely separately so as to ensure the safety of both parties and that at no point did the boy actually sit on the dog.

“Photobox stated that a qualified vet was on set for the duration of the production and attested to the welfare of the dogs that were featured in the ad, and provided a copy of the certificate the vet had signed-off.”

Photobox stated that an ex-kids restriction was placed on the ad, which meant that it could not appear in programming aimed at children, so as to ensure they were able to prevent emulation by young children.

Both complaint points were found to be not upheld due to the scene being ‘created by visual special effects, and that at no point was he physically sitting on the dog during the production of the ad.’

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