You really would never see the Kennel Club in the UK using a Pug like this in their marketing these days because of greater awareness about exaggerations. So... some small progress.
As some of you will know, I have started a new initiative called CRUFFA, currently in soft-launch mode (essentially waiting for me to be find the time to develop it/build a website).
CRUFFA stands for the Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals (in media/marketing/advertising) and I ping off emails/messages to companies that have used poor examples of brachycephalic dogs to make them aware of the issues. The aim is for the emails to be a gentle nudge, rather than a sledgehammer.
It was a little hard to know how to approach the AKC re this one - but I felt strongly enough to want to try. Let me know how you think I did.
Here's what I wrote to Brandi Hunter, the AKC's Director of PR.
Dear Brandi Hunter
I am writing in response to this image, which the AKC is currently using on registration emails.
The Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals (CRUFFA) was born out of concern over the increasing use of Pugs, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and other 'brachycephalic' breeds used in advertising, marketing and the media - especially the use of more exaggerated examples of these breeds. This of course reflects their current popularity - but also helps fuel demand.
While many people find flat-faced breeds cute, you will be aware they can suffer from health problems as a direct result of having been bred with a very short muzzle/wrinkling.
CRUFFA does not seek to ban the use of images of Pugs, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs in the media; preferring to educate, suggest alternatives and to promote the use of a healthier phenotype - e.g Pugs, Frenchies and Bulldogs that have good eyes, less wrinkling, wide-open nostrils and are not overweight.
We believe that the use of more moderate dogs in the media/advertising/marketing will help influence the popular “template” for the breed, increasing the demand for less-exaggerated dogs. Our sincere hope is that this will lead to improved quality of life for these breeds.
This Pug, for instance, has much more moderate features than the one in your image while still being undeniably a Pug.
We would appreciate greatly if this is something you could bear in mind in the future.
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone within the AKC responsible for marketing/advertising/media.
CRUFFAAnd I got a near-instant response, which is very nice.
(Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals)
|Click to enlarge|
I'm sure they think I'm being cheeky. But,hopefully, it will be something they will take into consideration in future.