Westminster’s Break with Pedigree

by Mary Haight on February 15, 2012

A Maltese at the 2007 Westminster Kennel Club ...

Image via Wikipedia

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will know there is little love to be found for any of the big pet food companies. Yet now I find myself in the awkward position of nearly defending Pedigree!

It seems the powers that be in charge of Westminster cut sponsorship ties after 24 years with Pedigree because they did not like the shelter dog commercials promoting adoption.

David Frei, host of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show and the club’s director of communication suggested the ads were not a good fit and that Pedigree had been notified and warned to change.  It’s true that the Pedigree commercials had a sad component, but were straightforward in the message to adopt. They were never at the level of emotional manipulation seen in HSUS and ASPCA commercials.

This type of commercial is not the” happy happy joy joy” image the Kennel Club strives for. I do wonder if the Westminster Kennel Club didn’t think about the long view: How bombarding the audience with messages saying shelter dogs are no “less than” the expensive show dogs being promoted might erode the position of purebreds and ultimately undermine what the Kennel Club believes they are doing for breeds?

John Woestendiek at OhMiDog has written an editorial on Westminster’s complaint.

I’d like to know how you feel about the notion that dog shows are just for fun.  Should reality, at least during commercials, be part the program? There are now many happy commercials for pet adoption out there thanks to the Shelter Pet Project. There are millions of viewers who watch Westminster each year – that’s a huge missed opportunity to promote adoption.

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  1. […] about the decision as well. Honest Dog writes Westminster Steps In It. Dancing Dog Blog reports on Westminster’s Break with Pedigree. These are just a couple of examples of bloggers that have covered this story. There are many […]

  2. […] year’s show went smoothly with nothing like last year’s controversy over sponsor ads hitting the spotlight. Two new breeds eligible to compete this year were introduced, the Treeing […]

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