Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Animal Rights Group's Ad Rejected by Pennsylvania Daily

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Animal Rights Group's Ad Rejected by Pennsylvania Daily

Article excerpt

THE ADVERTISING DEPARTMENT of the Pottsville (Pa.) Republican has refused to print an advertisement that was submitted by an animal rights group, calling the ad "unacceptable for publication."

The "Open letter to Schuylkill County residents" was produced by the Fund for Animals (FFA), a national nonprofit group based in New York City. Heidi Prescott, national director, said that the ad was intended to encourage debate about the county's Labor Day pigeon shoot -- an annual event in which thousands of pigeons are released from boxes and fired upon at close range.

The ad was headlined "Violence is NOT for the Birds" and featured a photo of one of the event's participants holding a bird's head in one hand and the body in the other. Copy in the ad urged residents to write to their legislators, asking them to support a ban on the event.

"Thousands of living, feeling animals are suffering in Schuylkill County, and you can help stop the cruelty," read the ad. "You would be outraged if it was your dog or cat. Enough is enough!"

Prescott said that, initially, the ad department of the Republican was concerned about certain phrases in the ad -- including "drunk spectators," "violent nature" and "full-time pigeon shoot protectors."

Although the FFA offered to change the wording of the ad and black out the face of the shoot participant, the ad was still rejected. The FFA has requested a copy of the newspaper's advertising acceptance policy, but, as of E&P's deadline, had not received any statement from the Republican.

Henry Nice, advertising director for the Republican, refused to comment on the situation, other than to say that the ad was "not acceptable for publication. …

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