Rejected in Leek: ‘Show Some Moral Fibre’ Billboard Deemed ‘Offensive’

For Immediate Release:

25 April 2019


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


PETA Tried to Display Ad in boohoo group CEO’s Hometown Following Retailer’s Wool Sales Ewe-Turn

Leek, Staffordshire ­­– Following boohoo group‘s decision to reverse its ban on wool, PETA tried to place a gentle and not-at-all-graphic billboard in the CEO’s hometown of Leek, showing a lamb’s sweet face next to the words, “Come On, boohoo – Show Some Moral Fibre. Ban Cruel Wool”, but media agency Primesight rejected the ad on the grounds that it “is likely to offend the general public or offend ethnic, religious or other community groups” and that it “might adversely affect the interest of the site owner”.

“What’s offensive is that gentle sheep are kicked, punched, and even killed in the wool industry, all for jumpers and scarves that could easily be made using vegan materials,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “The censorship of our billboard only makes PETA more determined than ever to persuade boohoo group to honour its word and end its wool sales.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a supremacist worldview. Since 2014, the group has released 11 exposés of 99 wool-industry facilities on four continents, including in the UK, and systemic abuse was found in every one. On farms across England and Scotland, shearers were seen punching sheep in the face, stamping and standing on their heads and necks, and beating them with electric clippers. Several sheep died of apparent stress during or following shearing, and one farmer was recorded dragging two ailing sheep into a shed, where he left them to suffer and die.

The wool industry also wreaks havoc on the environment: manure generated by farmed animals has significantly contributed to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, large-scale grazing has led to vegetation change and soil erosion, and faecal matter and sheep “dip” (a toxic chemical used to rid sheep of parasites) pollute local waterways.  The “Pulse of the Fashion Industry” report ranks wool fifth on its list of materials that have the highest cradle-to-gate environmental impact per kilogram.

PETA’s recent efforts to urge boohoo group – which includes the brands boohoo, boohooMAN, PrettyLittleThing, and Nasty Gal – to stand by its initial decision to ban wool include protesting outside its head office in Manchester and helping PETA US become a shareholder in order to influence the company from within.

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