Experts: SAFE ad unlikely to have major impact

Experts: SAFE ad unlikely to have major impact

Marketing experts say an ad placed in a British newspaper claiming cruelty in the New Zealand dairy industry is unlikely to have a major impact on the sector here.

Animal rights group SAFE took out the ad following its investigation into the abuse of bobby calves.

SAFE hopes the ad will grab the world's attention and reduce the cruelty in the New Zealand dairy industry.

Export New Zealand says the ad, which ran in Britain's Guardian newspaper on Saturday, is disappointing.

"To have an advertisement like that run in a big market like the United Kingdom I think is quite an unfair portrayal of how the dairy industry operates here," says ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard.

The $10,000 campaign follows a recent investigation by Farmwatch and SAFE, which uncovered abuse in the New Zealand dairy industry, with bobby calves being left in the sun and others being kicked and beaten in a Waikato slaughterhouse.

But marketing experts say the animal rights group's advertisement so far hasn't stirred much commentary in the UK.

"Whether it's going to cause a full ban on New Zealand dairy exports to Britain, it's unlikely," says University of Canterbury marketing lecturer Ekant Veer. "Remember, this is one small ad in quite a large newspaper, but there doesn't seem too much fuss about it in the UK press just now."

But another marketing expert told the Paul Henry programme despite the lack of momentum overseas, the New Zealand dairy industry will need to do damage control.

"This is the type of image that will be posted and re-posted and tweeted and retweeted, so they really need to just assure the rest of the world that this is a minority; this is how we actually do things," says University of Auckland senior marketing lecturer Mike Lee.

It's something the dairy industry may want to act on quickly if SAFE is to continue its international campaign.

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