TODAY |

Pedigree pulls pet adoption drive advert criticised for 'normalising child abuse'

Pet food company Pedigree removed an advert for its pet adoption drive after multiple complaints were laid with the Advertising Standards Authority.

An Australian Shepherd puppy staring out the window. Source: istock.com

The ad for Pedigree Parenting showed two people chatting at a children's playground when one is asked which child is hers.

The woman responds that she last saw him near the bushes, describing him as "popular with strangers" and that he'd follow anyone with a treat, before cutting to a shot of the woman walking away with her dog.

Four complaints were lodged with the Advertising Standards Authority, complaining the advert was in poor taste and inappropriate.

"Pedigree adverts encouraging adopting a dog are utilising child abuse tropes for their messaging," one complainant wrote.

"This arguably normalises child abuse and is potentially distressing for those affected by childhood abuse and neglect."

Another wrote: "We believe this ad is in very bad taste considering recent news and advice on keeping children safe from predators."

After the complaints were laid, Pedigree removed the ad, the Advertising Standards Authority says.

The matter was ruled to be settled.