Tuesday 27 September 2016

Vodafone pig has her bacon saved as she rolls in the mud at sanctuary

Published 14/02/2016 | 02:30

Mary Owens of Fircroft Animal Training Centre with Piggy Sue. Without her 'star' makeup, Sue is now a happy normal pig who loves nothing more than rolling in the mud - hence the mucky snout
Mary Owens of Fircroft Animal Training Centre with Piggy Sue. Without her 'star' makeup, Sue is now a happy normal pig who loves nothing more than rolling in the mud - hence the mucky snout
Piggy Sue on TV

The Vodafone pig that has captured the nation's heart has had her bacon saved by the telecoms company.

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'Piggy Sue', who features prominently in the telco's latest ad campaign, is now living in an animal training centre and will not be slaughtered, a Vodafone Ireland spokeswoman told the Sunday Independent.

The move is in keeping with the theme of the campaign, which sees the protagonist find a stray pig in the Wicklow mountains.

He tries to return the pig to its owner, only to find the sign 'Free Range Pork' outside the owner's house. He then drives away, sparing the pig from becoming a chop.

The Vodafone spokeswoman said the company wanted real life to mirror the theme of the ad - a stroke of good fortune for the piglet.

"From the pre-production stage, we ensured that our star's safety was paramount. As a result, she was adopted by the Fircroft Animal Training Centre, where she will live out the rest of her days in peace, eating, sleeping, and rolling in mud.

"She now lives amongst other pigs in the sanctuary and the animal trainers recommend that she remains where she is, as she is healthy and happy. For now, this piglet's days of stardom are behind her."

The pig appears in a series of ads emphasising various aspects of Vodafone's new 'quad-play' strategy, whereby it offers a bundle of services across home phone, mobile, broadband and television. The recently introduced Vodafone TV service - which includes a dedicated Netflix button on the remote - was the final plank of that strategy and sees Vodafone compete directly with Eir and Virgin in the quad-play market.

Vodafone Ireland's last set of results, for the three months to the end of December, saw a 3.4pc rise in service revenue, to €240.4m.

The company said this was driven by "a return to growth in mobile, with improving trends in both consumer and enterprise".

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