CWU gets Plusnet dog advert pulled
5th July 2012
The CWU has today (Thursday) secured a retraction of communications company Plusnet's TV advert, which seeks to make a joke out of dog attacks on postal workers.
Earlier in the week CWU national health, safety and environment officer Dave Joyce wrote to Plusnet CEO Jamie Ford, describing the advert as "irresponsible" and outlining the union's complaint.
"The age-old cartoon image of a postman being attacked and bitten by a dog is in real life no laughing matter," Dave Joyce stated in his letter, and added: "Today in the UK, it's a very serious and dangerous issue confronting Royal Mail postal delivery workers every day."
The TV advert featured an actor in postal workers uniform firstly "breakdancing" and then being attacked by a small dog, which both he and comedian Craig Murray try but are unable to shake off.
"Our cause and campaign to change attitudes is not helped and in fact is damaged by adverts like this one, which creates the misleading impression of a dangerous situation being nothing other than fun," he pointed out and concluded his letter: "I therefore respectfully request that your company ceases to televise this advert."
In his response, Mr. Ford, apologised for causing offence and pledged to withdraw the advert, telling Dave: "We would never want our advertising to offend and we take seriously your feedback on this particular advert.
"We are in no way aiming to deliver morally misleading
Dave Joyce has welcomed this development, which follows a statement of support for the CWU's stance from Royal Mail Group chairman, Donald Brydon, who stated: "I totally support this letter of complaint from the CWU. Dog attacks on postal workers are not funny."
Dave said that the removal of the advert represents a "small moral victory for the thousands of victims of dog attacks.
"It's about time the Government showed the same level of responsibility as Plusnet have by strengthening the laws governing dangerous dogs," he added.
The advert will be withdrawn officially on the 12th July 2012.