The Advertising Standards Agency has ruled that a Scottish Government advertisement describing the loan of two giant Panda’s to Edinburgh Zoo as misleading.
In their ruling the watchdog upholds claims by animal rights group, Scotland for Animals, who claimed that the advert wrongly portrayed the exchange as free.
In reality Edinburgh Zoo must stump up £600k a year to the Chinese government for the next decade as part of the loan agreement.
In their adjudication the ASA said: “We considered that consumers would interpret the terms ‘gift’ and ‘gifting’ to mean that the pandas were given without payment.”
The advert, which appeared in the Scottish press in November and December last year, neglected to mention the commercial nature of the deal, instead describing it as a “celebration of links between Scotland and China.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson defended: “When the arrival of the pandas was announced last January the Chinese Ambassador to the UK described them as a gift from China.”