ASA criticise circus’ false claims

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Ireland’s most controversial animal circus has landed itself in trouble again after the Advertising Standards Authority Ireland (ASAI) upheld four complaints about its advertising.

Freedom for Animals made the complaints to the ASAI over a promotional leaflet for the circus. All of the complaints were upheld.

The complaints were:

  1. The leaflet carried the headline ‘Direct from Down Under’. Along with the name ‘Australian Super Circus Sydney’, this gave the public the impression the circus had come from Australia. In fact it is owned by a German family and based permanently in Ireland.
  2. The leaflet claimed it was the ‘first ever visit’ by the circus. The circus has actually toured Ireland under that name since 2006.
  3. The advert provided insufficient contact information for the company, as required by advertising laws. Only a mobile number was provided. It took the ASAI several months to make contact with the circus to discuss the complaints.
  4. The circus claimed it had ‘three baby elephants and two adult elephants’ but really only toured with two adult ones.

The circus did not comment on the last two complaints. On the first, the German owner said he did have some relatives in Australia!

The ASAI upheld all four complaints and found the leaflet to be in breach of codes stating that adverts “should not mislead by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.”

The circus has been told it cannot make such claims again.

In a statement to the press, Freedom for Animals, said: “The advert for the circus was so full of misleading claims that the only reliable information was the venue and date of the show! The public have a right to accurate advertising and we are pleased the ASAI has upheld all the complaints we made.

“Circus Sydney is steeped in controversy, including the mysterious death of a young elephant and parading elephants down a public street without permission or proper safety procedures. Given the inherent welfare problems of moving animals around Ireland and forcing them to perform tricks, it is time to end animal circuses and support those relying entirely on the skills of human performers.

What can you do

– Boycott circuses with performing animals

Become a Freedom for Animals supporter – you can help to make a difference

– Write to your Assembly Member/TD, asking them to support a ban animal use in circuses. Contact details can be found HERE for Republic of Ireland and HERE for Northern Ireland

– Write to your local newspaper highlighting what is wrong with circuses.

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Click HERE to get involved in our campaigns in the Republic of Ireland and HERE to get involved in Northern Ireland contact us to join our e-mail list.

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