Asa Rejects Complaints Against PETA’S Anti-Fishing Billboard

For Immediate Release:
2 November 2010

Sandra Smiley +44 (0) 20 7357 9229, ext 229

London – After receiving several complaints, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently gave PETA’s anti-fishing billboard – which shows a man with a fishing rod extended from his lower midsection and reads, “Are You Overcompensating for Something?” – the all-clear. Following the ASA’s decision, PETA intends to place the controversial poster in fishing hot spots across the UK. (A photo of the billboard is attached.) According to a study reported on, men who feel a threat to their masculinity engage in more behaviour that is considered manly and are more likely to report feeling hostile than men who feel secure in their masculinity.

ASA spokesperson Rob Griggs told the Kentish Express, “Our decision was that we acknowledged the intended humour, and we felt that it was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence… PETA erected the billboard in Kent in September following the death of a 45-year-old, 67-pound mirror carp named Two Tone, whose death anglers reportedly mourned despite their having no reservations about painfully hooking the animal twice a year and throwing him back into the water.

“Anglers can mutilate fish by impaling them with hooks all day long and not flinch, but one look at our billboard, and it seems they go running to the ASA like weepy children”, says PETA Foundation Manager Mimi Bekhechi. “It takes a small man to call an attack on a defenceless animal a ‘sport’.”

Study after study has shown that fish feel pain. Their mouths are full of sensitive nerve endings, and even fish who are released after being caught often die. Studies have also shown that fish are smart, have long-term memories and can tell time, use tools and even build structures. An Oxford University scientist found that fish learn faster than dogs, and University of Edinburgh biologist Culum Brown said, “In many areas, such as memory, [fish’s] cognitive powers match or exceed those of ‘higher’ vertebrates, including non-human primates”.

For more information and to see how you measure up, please visit PETA’s interactive website