Fat Face slammed for 'distressed horse' ad

By Justine Thompson

General news

15 December 2009 10:30

Trendy clothing brand Fat Face is in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority over an advert showing a horse in distress.

The picture in a direct mail leaflet showed a male rider yanking the horse in the mouth, with the horse’s head pulled upwards and the whites of his eyes clearly visible.

The leaflet was called offensive and irresponsible by 29 complainants to the ASA, because they showed the horse apparently in distress. The mailshot was also criticised by 25 of the complainants because the rider was not wearing a hat.

Fat Face said the stable that supplied the horse confirmed the animal had not been hurt during the photoshoot. The company added that after consulting equine experts about the issue, it had decided not to use horses in photoshoots in future.

The clothing brand, which is best known for its surf wear fashion, withdrew the mailing when it became aware of customer worries.

However, last week the ASA ruled that the image was in breach of its code and likely to cause “serious offence” to some readers. It also said that the mailshot condoned unsafe practices.

The ASA is not pursuing any further action against Fat face, as the company has withdrawn the advert of its own accord and apologised for any offence.