The dating app ‘Thursday’ hired a camel to stand outside Liverpool Street Station in London and made it wear a handwritten billboard promoting the app.
The stunt has been widely condemned. Plant Based News has reached out for comment on the app’s LinkedIn page but we’ve not received a reply as yet.
Vegan dating app Grazer got in touch to give us its take on the stunt:
“From one dating app to another, it’s disappointing to see the use of animals as props for marketing… and in this case, as a live billboard. ‘Thursday’ is great at thinking outside the box, but this was a step too far. Marketing is not an excuse for animal exploitation.”
Grazer co-founder and CMO, Charlotte Elizabeth, says: “Camels don’t belong at London Liverpool Street, and live animals aren’t walking billboards for marketing stunts.
“Animals have long been used for advertising gain, but in 2022 we should be way past this. We obviously think live animals don’t belong in ads at all, but even the advertising guidelines from the British Veterinary Association would have a problem with Thursday’s ad.
“The BVA state; the animal must be ‘shown in a suitable environment (place to live) for its species and/or breed?’ I don’t see that here. ‘Thursday’ has some brilliant ideas, so it’s disappointing to see them take a step back in time and resort to using animals for clicks.”
After posting the ad on Instagram, ‘Thursday’ turned its comments off due to the negative backlash.
Charlotte commented, “Maybe they don’t care, I’m sure they just see the attention as good for brand awareness but we need to hold brands accountable.”
Animals for hire
It’s not just camels the company has for hire, they also hire out pigs for pig racing.
Joseph Fosset, the man behind the company, is a member of the oldest circus family in the UK. He has been using animals for his income for over 35 years, including lions, tigers, elephants, bears, horses, and camels.
A gallery of the company’s activities can be viewed here. The images show camels being whipped in races and used as props in an array of public events.
Animals in advertising
Camels are often used for entertainment, and this isn’t the first time one has been exploited for advertising —this ad from 2013 had the same idea.
Any time animals are forced outside of their natural habitat, it causes them stress and trauma.
Not all animals are able to outwardly show stress, but for a camel to be paraded in central London would have been extremely upsetting for the animal.
It’s unacceptable for any animal to be used in the promotional stunts of a company, which is a message ‘Thursday’ is now hearing loud and clear, on the channels that they still allow commenting.