Dairy cows are pictured at a dairy farm in Chilliwack, B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

Dairy Farmers pull ad after complaints over allegedly misleading the public

Dairy Farmers of Canada was trying to better inform millennials about Canadian dairy, website says

An advocacy group for dairy farmers decided to pull one of its new ads after a number of people complained it misled the public, according to letters sent to complainants from the advertising standards body.

The print ad in question is part of the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s “Honest. Canadian. Dairy.” campaign, which was developed by DDB Canada and launched at the end of January with a planned run until March, according to DDB’s website.

The ad pictures a man standing in front of a pasture with the words “There are zero growth hormones in milk produced in Canada. Like, none,” emblazoned on the sky above his head.

A picture of the ad circulated on social media and angered some animal rights activists, including Torontonian Jenny McQueen, a vegan for more than 25 years who volunteers for several animal rights groups.

READ MORE: B.C. dairy farmers say milk cup is half full in new Canada Food Guide

An animal rights group suggested people submit complaints to Ad Standards to say that milk contains a natural growth hormone, she said.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada “have been informed of the claims made by the lobby group and the information is incomplete and inaccurate,” wrote Lucie Boileau, director of communications for the farmers, in an email. She did not immediately respond to follow-up questions seeking to clarify her response.

McQueen sent her complaint to Ad Standards, a national, not-for-profit advertising self-regulatory body, on Feb. 2.

She was upset that the advocacy group appeared to be trying to mislead the public, and had concerns over the impact hormones may have on human health. More broadly, she said she dislikes the way the animal protein industry treats animals.

McQueen and many other complainants received a response Tuesday to inform them that Ad Standards contacted the advertiser for additional information.

“We were informed by the advertiser that, upon receipt of your complaint, the ad has been permanently withdrawn,” reads the letter signed by Yamina Bennacer, manager of standards at the organization.

Ad Standards will close its file on the matter as a result of this corrective action.

“I was very pleased that they had seen that a company is using language that is not true,” said McQueen.

The national ad campaign is intended to better inform millennials about Canadian dairy and clear up any misconceptions they may have, according to DDB’s website, with “an honest, candid approach to share truths about Canadian dairy products and the industry.”

It shares facts like the average Canadian dairy farm has 89 cows and the corresponding video ad includes a man sharing the names of those 89 cows.

Another print ad includes the text, “Real milk comes from real cows. Anything else is nuts,” highlighting a growing war of words between dairy farmers and alternative milk producers, such as soy or nut milks.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Governor General’s Award-winning author launches her new book

Wendy Phillips’s ‘Baggage’ is told in experimental ‘free verse’ style

Nanaimo city councillors to hold e-town hall meeting on strategic priorities

Meeting will take place May 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service called to Doumont Road fire

Editorial: Homelessness task force has to be more than misdirection

Task force won’t be able to address all the challenging issues that come before Nanaimo council

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Wellington Secondary drama program stages adaptation of ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Production will feature two actresses in the role of Alice

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Say no to plastic straws

Straws make drinking frappuccinos easier, but they kill sea creatures, says letter writer

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Nanaimo author details hotel history along the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River

Most Read