First vegan cinema advert reported to advertising watchdog by pig farmers

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Olivia Rudgard

The UK's first vegan cinema advert has been reported to the advertising watchdog by pig farmers who claim it is misleading.

Richard Lister, chairman of the National Pig Association, said his organisation had referred the advert, by vegan charity Viva, to the ASA earlier this month.

He said its claim that 90pc of pigs are factory farmed was not accurate.

"It's totally misleading. The UK pig industry is rightfully proud of its welfare, it's got the highest level of welfare in the world, in excess of 90pc of the pigs belong to the Red Tractor assurance scheme", he said.

"All farms are visited on a quarterly basis and as far as we are concerned the advert is misleading, as the Viva campaign has been throughout the year."

The advert was crowdfunded by the charity's supporters, who raised more than £102,000 to fund it.

Its month-long run began at the start of December and is due to end on January 4. The charity's website says it has been shown ahead of films including Star Wars, Pitch Perfect 3 and Murder On The Orient Express.

The advert, titled "Hope not Hell", shows a sow named Hope and her piglets, who the charity says was rescued from a pig farm.

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The film depicts her "dancing with joy" at going outside for the first time, and contrasts this with film of what it says are the poor conditions most pigs are kept in.

The charity hopes to reach 2.25m people with the advert.

In a post announcing the campaign, charity founder Juliet Gellatley said:  "In a world inundated by advertising, it takes something unique to make people stop and listen. Hope’s rescue has given us the opportunity to do just that."

Mr Lister runs a pig farm in Boroughbridge, north Yorkshire.

Viva has been contacted for comment.