Courtney Brothers’ Circus slammed for false advertising by authority

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Courtney Brothers’ Circus has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland for false advertising. Freedom for Animals raised a query with the authority when a supporter complained that Courtney’s recent tour flyers depicted animal acts that were not included in the show.

Courtney’s made the somewhat confusing argument that they should be allowed to depict animals and acts which were not actually part of the performance in their advertising, suggesting that false advertising of this kind is common practice within the circus industry and accepted by the general public.

Courtney’s also suggested that the complaint should not be upheld because Freedom for Animals was an organisation fundamentally opposed to the use of animals in circuses. Like Freedom for Animals, the Advertising Standards Authority did not appear to accept that this was a relevant factor.

Unsurprisingly, the Advertising Standards Authority rejected the circus’ argument that misleading advertising should be allowed to continue and upheld the complaint by Freedom for Animals.

The circus was told it must take action:

“The Complaints Committee told Courtney Brothers’ Circus not to use images in their advertising of animals or performers that were not scheduled to appear in the circus”.

In the coming weeks, Freedom for Animals will be working with Irish partners to further the important Irish Circus campaign to see an end to the exploitation of animals in circuses in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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