Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Eukanuba... what were you *thinking*??





As some of you will know, I have recently set up CRUFFA - the Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals (in advertising and the media).  Cruffa's aim is to persuade companies/organisations to not use brachycephalics as a selling tool for their products/services/events - and where only a brachy will do to encourage the use of dogs/cats with more moderate features. 

Cruffa is not much more than a Facebook page at the moment and in truth I have had little time to do much, but there's been a fantastic response, with pledges of support (and/or a commitment to not use stock photographs of brachycephalics where a more normal dog/cat would do) already in from:

Dogs Today Magazine

Registrations of the extreme brachycephalics are at an all-time high (one in seven dogs registered with the Kennel Club is now a Pug, French Bulldog of a Bulldog - compared to one in 50 ten years ago). 

These three breeds in particular are being used to flog everything from car insurance to mobile phone networks, contributing to their demand and the 'normalisation' of features that are anything but normal - flat faces, over-large eyes, pinched nostrils, obesity. Particularly worrying is the amount of ads/editorial use in the mainstream and online media which feature brachy dogs "smiling" but whose drawn-back + up lips betray that they are hot and/or are struggling to breathe.


But I digress.

I was really shocked to see the GSD above on this Eukanuba dog-food.  And they've also used the same dog, flipped, in this branding. Note the caption on the dog's hips...what irony.




GSDs do not come under Cruffa's remit but I thought it would be good to use the same tools Cruffa is using (personal communication and social media pressure) to encourage Eukanuba to commit to changing the image of this dog to one that is not struggling to stand or cow-hocked.

You can tweet them @eukanuba.

Here is their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Eukanuba/

As you'll see on the pack, Eukanuba also carries a Kennel Club logo boasting that they are "partners in nutrition", so lobbying the KC via its Facebook page or Twitter - @KCLovesDogs - should also be effective.

I have already posted/tweeted to the above, and the more voices/comments received, the more likely it is that they will commit to changing the image.

With a bit of luck to one that looks like this.


Or this.



*****UPDATE*****

Delighted to report that I've received this from Eukanuba this evening (22/6/16). Thank you to everyone who commented on the links above to help secure this commitment - and well done to Eukanuba for the quick response.

Hi Jemima  
At Eukanuba, we are pet owners first and foremost and care deeply about the animals we serve. 
To offer some insight and background to the current image of the German Shepherd Dog; Spectrum Brands only acquired the Eukanuba brand in Europe on 1 January 2015 from its previous owner Procter & Gamble. The current German Shepherd Dog image was chosen by Procter & Gamble in the United States back in 2013 and was then also applied to the European packaging. At that time no-one from Spectrum Brands was obviously involved in the brand or choice of images that would be shown on the packaging.  
Moving forward, we are reviewing all assets that we acquired from Procter & Gamble including the packaging of our German Shepherd Breed Specific formula. We have recognised that the image is not a fair representation of the ideal conformation of the German Shepherd Dog. Therefore we will look to change this image to be in line with the ideal representation of the breed as part of our future asset review. 
 
The Eukanuba Team

18 comments:

  1. Apparently it is politically correct for dog food companies to promote deformed, genetically mutant "purebreds". They are as brain-dead as the breeders who mate these dogs, the professional handlers who try to hide these faults, and the conformation judges who sleep with the handlers. --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, makes you wonder how trust worthy their dog food can be. When they don't even know what a healthy dog should look like! Pseudoscience diet?

      "Power" bwa ha ha ha!

      That poor dog looks like its back end is stuck on a mini tripod, the GSD zimmer frame.

      Delete
  2. I posted my protest on the Eukanuba FB page. Thank you for sharing. I was not aware they were using *this* as the model of a healthy GSD. FAIL!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Not all their cover dogs are sickos. Eukanuba also featured 16 and 17 year old Labradors.

    http://adage.com/article/news/eukanuba-campaign-dogs-live-longer/298642/

    Sadly, they don't seem to have published the study results ;(

    But it's laudable, with all the crap advertized on dogfood bags, to hear a company actually did study of longevity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. p.s. Here's a better link for the Eukanuba longevity ad . . . unfortunately it's not shown a lot/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-W9lpgEHek

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, the difference between well-established companies such as IAMS and Pedigree and Eukanuba and the new ones claiming that the former are crap is that the former have actually *fed* dogs for their entire lives on their food.

    The latter? Many don't even own their own feed mills, a surprising number don't try feeding dogs for a few weeks on their food to see if they're ok and never mind spend 15-20 years actually seeing if their food really is good from birth to death. I'm not saying they're bad (many are great), but there's a difference in the reputation they're standing on.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I imagine they were thinking that this was a 'correct' GSD as asserted by the show world. You can fool some of the people some of the time................

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good response from Yuckanuba. For a moment there it kinda looked like feeding dogs with baked cereals instead of raw meat and bones causes the growth problems as illustrated by the picture.

    Oh wait, it does. But that's another article.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2460/javma.243.11.1549

      Delete
  8. So, they've had it for over a year and didn't fix it? Such an eye-bleed-inducing image should have struck someone somewhere along the line as "this needs to change ASAP", I would think.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So their food is good for hyenas. But can you feed it to actual dogs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why would you want to when there are better quality foods for the same or less money.

      Delete
  10. Regarding the Update: Great that you are re-examining your cover dogs. But, please, please, Eukanuba team, support long term feeding trials and advertise and document the results. There is SO SO SO much marketing garbage in the dog food industry. Eukanuba has always seemed to me to be tried and true, and I was impressed that you did a 10 yr feeding study on Labradors (though disappointed that you offer no scientific or technical documentation). I'd love to see more demonstrated concern with longevity and good health . . . as well as cover dogs without extreme and unhealthy conformation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Repeating myself, they actually did publish the results. See http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2460/javma.243.11.1549

      Delete
  11. I checked Eukanuba on All About Dog Food, an impartial website which rates dog foods based on ingredients alone. They didn't have this particular food, so I put the ingredients into their checker and it came out as 2.5 out of 5. http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/instant-dog-food-review.php

    This website is brilliant for dog owners wanting to feed their dogs good quality food without being hoodwinked by clever ingredient ploys. I'm sure it's not so great for the big name manufacturers whose products tend to rank so poorly on here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, that website, as well as http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/
      are great resources!

      Funny how big brands such as bakers complete score even lower!
      http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-reviews/0012/bakers-complete-adult

      Delete
  12. In all fairness to the packaging designers, they are graphic artists. the dog is nothing more than a clipart that they will insert into their real work-- the packaging. the design, the color, the placement, the font, thats their job and making it look a certain way to evoke a certain feeling, thats their art. the dog is nothing more than 1 item they are working with, and i guarantee they arent dog people and to them its just "a picture of a brown dog". why does a dog food company have to be hardcore dog people? they are graphic designers, professional PR reps, probably a few engineers and scientists, a bunch of people who have nothing to do with dogs. cut them some slack.

    ReplyDelete