ASA bans animal charity ad over donations issue

Advert that suggests donations to livestock in Afghanistan ultimately benefit British Troops withdra

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an ad for an animal protection charity working in Afghanistan, as it appeared to suggest that donations to save livestock ultimately benefited British troops.

The advertisement was for the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (Spana), which is in support of saving livestock belonging to farmers in Helmand province. Its headline read, "saving her life means his just got easier", followed by a photo of an Afghan man, a donkey and a British soldier.

It claimed that for many Afghan families, the well-being of their animals can make a difference to their lives, and somebody who loses their livelihood is likely to be drawn into conflict. The ad concluded, "ultimately, our brave British servicemen and women can benefit from the care which you help us provide."

The ASA banned the ad, saying it should not be published in its current form, after receiving two complaints that the claims were offensive and encouraged donations for British troops.

However, Spana said the campaign was part of an initiative to win over local farmers to make them less susceptible to the influence of the Taliban. It believes that its work is beneficial to British troops and added that the Ministry of Defence had approved the ad before it was published.