How pet industry PR and influencing works

Before you read this, just tuck away in your mind the fact that Colgate is the owner of  Hills Pet Nutrition – then this post will make more sense.

Yesterday I spotted this interesting and readable piece in our local Hobart newspaper:

http://companionanimalnews.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/more-than-mans-best-friend/

Now I would be the first to agree that “68% of Tasmanians living with pets believe they are important contributors to their happiness”…… they most certainly are to us! No argument!

So I did a bit of a search….and found the exact same article, carefully orientated to the local area, in another 5 newspapers and magazines, Victoria, NSW, Queensland, and even a parenting magazine, all proclaiming that “68%, or 70% or 80% “of us are happier with pets etc. I’m sure I could find them in a lot more places if I look.

Here are a few of them ( you don’t need to read them all, trust me, they all say the same thing and point you to Colgate’s wonderful competition…):

http://companionanimalnews.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/we-look-to-our-pets-to-make-us-happy/

http://companionanimalnews.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-simple-yet-substantial-joys-of-animal-attraction/

http://companionanimalnews.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/aussie-pets-key-to-happiness/

http://companionanimalnews.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/why-victorians-are-a-pet-loving-lot/

So, what’s going on?

Well what’s going on folks is that the pet industry ( PIAA, Vet Associations, Pet Food Companies, Breeders, etc, all members of ACAC) are seriously concerned at the declining numbers of owned animals by the public across Australia – all of which impact on their profits and vested interests.

So they engage research of this type , urging us all to make sure we all get a dog, or cat or two.

So public, don’t be fooled, understand what is going on here.

Yes, by all means get a pet if you can guarantee to look after it for life, but get your pet from an animal welfare charity or recognised animal Rescue and rehoming Group.

There are thousands desperately needing a home. Never buy an animal from a pet shop ( unless it is working with Rehoming Groups ) thus reducing the demand from puppy farms. And do you really need a “pure breed”? (maybe you do..)

This is massive PR ( did they pay for these as adverts?) across the country to influence people to get pets ( which I don’t actually have a problem with if they look after them, but what I object to is that the vested commercial interests of ACAC members do precious nothing to help homeless animals in our pounds and shelters.)

More owned animals in the market – more revenues and profits and jobs etc, ………but why have we still got around 250,000 companion animals dying each year in pounds and shelters? Why didn’t just one of the articles say to go to the local shelter to get your pet?

Just think – what a wasted opportunity for the cats and dogs in pounds and shelters – how much PR could they have got from this Australia wide marketing by the pet industry?

….Crazy – a dog or cat sourced from a shelter still eats the same amount of pet food as any other…..

And as I said,   Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc is a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive Company. They are a large scale provider of dog and cat foods.

Tell us what you think about this type of PR by the pet industry …your comments are valuable!

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4 thoughts on “How pet industry PR and influencing works

  1. Melissa Rimac November 22, 2012 / 10:45 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for bringing this up. What a tragic waste of a great opportunity. These are clearly the handiwork of the CP PR dept; newspapers and mags love this sort of thing as the journo’s can quickly whip up a ‘story’ without having to even refer back to the primary source for fact checking or an original quote. Chances are it didn’t even cross the mind of the person writing the press release to mention how much additional smiling could be generated by adopting a pet from a shelter.

    I think the best course of action is for people to contact CP and to let them know how much the pet- food buying public would love to see a company of their stature battling for shelter pets. Also helpful if individual publications were informed that readers are conscious about the need to promote adoption of shelter pets.

    All the Best,
    M

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