Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Dogs - Mans Best Friend or Offensive Animal?

I am widely quoted today, in national newspapers, following the decision of Tayside Police to apologise for using a puppy dog in an advert designed to publicise their non-emergency telephone number. This apology followed a complaint by a Dundee Councillor that this image is offensive to Muslims because dogs are considered to be ritually unclean in his religion.

I am in no doubt that the advertising agency who designed this advert did so on the basis that the UK is the most dog loving nation on earth. In our culture dogs are viewed as mans best friend and I am sure the ad agency simply wanted people to think of their local Police as mans best friend by using the imagery of one of their dog, 'Rebel', to advertise the Tayside Police force.

The British way of life means is happy to respect cultures from all around the world and to allow them to prosper in Britain alongside our own way of life. I am quite sure Andrex will not drop their puppy dog from advertising, packaging and branding and I am equally sure their toilet tissue will continue to be used by people of all religions.

Britain is a nation that know all about respect and we have the right to have our culture respected. 'Rebel' is simply a puppy dog training to serve his local community in our Police Force. He's a cute little thing and I am sure he will do a lot of good for the Tayside community, regardless of their religion!

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