You know those pet adoption ads that tug at the heartstrings with those sad looking pooches cowering behind cages?
Well, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which held its finale Tuesday with its “Best of Show” winner, wasn’t having any of it – or them.
After 24 years as the premier kennel show’s chief sponsor, Pedigree was replaced this year because the WKC said the dog food company had taken the wrong approach to promoting pet adoptions by showing shelter dogs with sad faces.
“Show me an ad with a dog with a smile. Don’t try to shame me,” show spokesman David Frei told the Associated Press. “We told [Pedigree] that and they ignored us.”
Frei said the show is a “celebration of dogs. We’re not promoting purebreds at the expense of non-purebreds. We celebrate all dogs. When we’re seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it’s sad, but it’s not our message.”
Frei earlier told AP concerning the Pedigree ads, “The feedback we got from our primary audience was that they were seeing commercials that made them want to turn the channel.”
Pedigree was replaced with Nestle Purina PetCare. Pedigree said it was “surprised and disappointed” it ended up in the doghouse.
More than 2,000 dogs are entered in the 136th Westminster show, representing 185 breeds. Coverage was shared by the USA Network and CNBC. If you want to see the latest photos from the show click here and here.
Update: A Pekingese won ‘Best in Show’ Tuesday night in New York. Malachy beat a Dalmatian, a German Shepherd, and four other breeds.