WKD to remove Christmas campaign suggesting consumers should buy booze instead of donating to animal charities


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

December 12, 2012 | 2 min read

Alcohol brand WKD has told The Drum that it will remove its Christmas campaign which suggests that consumers could give money to help re-home animals…or they could buy a WKD.

The outdoor poster ad has led to outrage from animal lovers, with some calling it ‘sick’ and ‘disgusting’.

In reply to complaints on Facebook, WKD said: “WKD is famous for having a WKD side, and a reputation for looking at everyday life with a twist. Our latest campaign is not meant to offend in any way – true to the brand, we are just having a little bit of fun and meant to be very much tongue-in-cheek – a poke at WKD rather than animal causes.”

The ASA has said that several complaints had been made about the ad, with the general nature of the complaints being that it is offensive and undermines the work of dog charities.

Calie Rydings, senior RSPCA press officer, told The Drum: "While it is obvious that the WKD brand relies on tongue-in-cheek advertising, this particular campaign does a disservice to the thousands of animals that are abandoned across the country every year and are in desperate need of a new home."

WKD has now told The Drum in a statement: “Our Christmas outdoor advertising campaign was never meant to offend.

“However, in response to consumer reaction we have instructed the outdoor advertising contractors to remove the poster with immediate effect. This may take up to 72 hours to complete."

WKD has also announced that it will be making a donation to the RSPCA.


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