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Amazon agrees to change waste food ad after NPA complaint

3rd May 2019 / By Alistair Driver

Online retail giant Amazon has promised to change a high profile advert showing a boy feeding a pig with what looked like kitchen waste, after a complaint by the NPA. 

Amazon ad

The advert for the Amazon Echo Dot, which was shown in cinemas, features a small boy with a pet pig. During the advert, the boy scrapes uneaten food from his plate for the pig to eat.

In a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority, NPA chief executive Zoe Davies pointed out that this is classed as swill feeding, which has been illegal in the UK since 2001. “What really concerns us, is not just the fact that the ad appears to encourage an illegal act, but the fact that we have another disease spreading through the EU, all over China and several other Asian countries called African swine fever (ASF),” Zoe wrote.

She called for the ASA to help the industry in preventing this advert from being shown and ‘keeping ASF and other awful notifiable diseases out of the UK pig population’.

Vet Duncan Berkshire, president of the Pig Veterinary Society (PVS), also complained to the ASA as an individual and to Amazon on behalf of the PVS. He asked the online retail giant to remove footage of this illegal practice from all forms of media immediately.

The ASA contacted both Zoe and Duncan today, informing them that their complaints have had the desired response. 

"We think you have a valid point and, with a view to acting quickly, we instructed Amazon to change their ad. We asked them to remove the scene in question, and I’m pleased to advise that we have received an assurance from them that they will make that change should the ad appear again," the ASA.

Zoe said: "This is an excellent result. We are really pleased the ASA understood the seriousness of our complaint and reached the same conclusion. We also welcome what appears to be Amazon's promise to remove the footage from future adverts. And we hope this sends out a message to other media outlets and advertisers. 

"We also stressing yet again how important it is that all pig owners adhere to the swill feeding - and that means not feeding kitchen waste, even if it doesn't contain meat."