Dairy cows are pictured at a dairy farm in Chilliwack, B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Dairy Farmers pull ad after complaints over allegedly misleading the public

Dairy Farmers of Canada was trying to better inform millennials about Canadian dairy, website says

An advocacy group for dairy farmers decided to pull one of its new ads after a number of people complained it misled the public, according to letters sent to complainants from the advertising standards body.

The print ad in question is part of the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s “Honest. Canadian. Dairy.” campaign, which was developed by DDB Canada and launched at the end of January with a planned run until March, according to DDB’s website.

The ad pictures a man standing in front of a pasture with the words “There are zero growth hormones in milk produced in Canada. Like, none,” emblazoned on the sky above his head.

A picture of the ad circulated on social media and angered some animal rights activists, including Torontonian Jenny McQueen, a vegan for more than 25 years who volunteers for several animal rights groups.

READ MORE: B.C. dairy farmers say milk cup is half full in new Canada Food Guide

An animal rights group suggested people submit complaints to Ad Standards to say that milk contains a natural growth hormone, she said.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada “have been informed of the claims made by the lobby group and the information is incomplete and inaccurate,” wrote Lucie Boileau, director of communications for the farmers, in an email. She did not immediately respond to follow-up questions seeking to clarify her response.

McQueen sent her complaint to Ad Standards, a national, not-for-profit advertising self-regulatory body, on Feb. 2.

She was upset that the advocacy group appeared to be trying to mislead the public, and had concerns over the impact hormones may have on human health. More broadly, she said she dislikes the way the animal protein industry treats animals.

McQueen and many other complainants received a response Tuesday to inform them that Ad Standards contacted the advertiser for additional information.

“We were informed by the advertiser that, upon receipt of your complaint, the ad has been permanently withdrawn,” reads the letter signed by Yamina Bennacer, manager of standards at the organization.

Ad Standards will close its file on the matter as a result of this corrective action.

“I was very pleased that they had seen that a company is using language that is not true,” said McQueen.

The national ad campaign is intended to better inform millennials about Canadian dairy and clear up any misconceptions they may have, according to DDB’s website, with “an honest, candid approach to share truths about Canadian dairy products and the industry.”

It shares facts like the average Canadian dairy farm has 89 cows and the corresponding video ad includes a man sharing the names of those 89 cows.

Another print ad includes the text, “Real milk comes from real cows. Anything else is nuts,” highlighting a growing war of words between dairy farmers and alternative milk producers, such as soy or nut milks.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Cache Creek landfill extension set for September completion

Project has been delayed due to wildfires and floods over past two years

Drag races set to return for Graffiti Days weekend

Annual event features old favourites like the smoke show, and new events like a drive-in movie

Bonaparte River fishway, Thompson steelhead among projects awarded grant funding

More than $9 million will help 170 fish and wildlife projects around B.C.

Wellness clinics provide free, drop-in health information

New service in Clinton helps patients manage their health care and stay out of hospital

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Most Read