Unilever faces backlash over mock animal abuse Marmite ad

Love it or hate it? Does Unilever's new Marmite ad in the UK belittle the work of animal welfare groups?

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received around 400 complaints about Unilever's new Marmite advert, contending that it trivialises animal abuse.

The ad shows Marmite tubs being rescued from neglectful owners and rehomed with caring families.

Belittling work of animal welfare groups?

Matt Wilson, press officer for the UK ad watchdog ASA, said that the organization had received around 400 complaints since the ad was aired last week.

“People think that it is in poor taste because it belittles the work of animal welfare and children’s charities.”

Wilson said that the ASA will decide next week whether or not to shut the ad down and launch an investigation.

Unilever makes RSPCA donation

Unilever has made a £18,000 (€21,000) donation to animal charity RSPCA, which has been enough to appease the organization.

"Love the advert or hate it - we are thrilled to announce that Marmite have put their money where their mouth is and are spreading the love for animal welfare by making a donation to the RSPCA,” said the organisation in a statement.

"Marmite have offered us £18,000 - which is how much it costs to run our inspectorate service for one day. This will make a massive difference to the animals and we are very grateful for their generosity."

A Unilever spokesperson said that the ad was light-hearted, went through a rigorous testing process and was not meant to cause offence.

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