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Grouse Shooting Campaign

Aug 16

Written by:
16/08/2017 14:20  RssIcon

The strange case of the disappearing logos 


Now that the ‘glorious 12th’ has come and gone and those brave men armed only with shotguns have begun to blast confused juvenile birds out of the sky by the dozen, the time has come to reflect on the strange experience of Ethical Consumer’s 2017 grouse campaign.


Image: Grouse


Ethical Consumer works across many social and environmental issues. We will often look at comparing company performance against an issue, for example palm oil or child labour. 

Usually, having done research, we will then group companies into best performing and worst performing and publish the results. If consumers support campaign goals in this area, they can encourage good behaviour by buying products from the best performers.

We will sometimes use brand logos for the best performers because this is a simple language consumers understand.  We had found, up to now, that when we are saying 'buy this product - this company is good' that a company would never complain about the use of their logo.

The experience of the last week has been interesting however, in that it has not conformed to this pattern. One by one, companies which had appeared on our best performers list contacted us to ask us to remove their logos “as we had not asked permission”.  

When we asked whether they had changed their minds and wanted to go back on the target list of worst performers, none have yet chosen this option.  Most now appear on a new, carefully worded list of  “companies not buying shooting days”. 

So it is not true to suggest that they are ‘shooting down Chris Packham’s campaign’ as some suggest.  None are involved, or want to be seen to be involved, in the controversial activity of grouse shooting. It is just that they don’t want their logos used in this space.

We can only assume that, given their public opposition to this project, it is a consequence of the British Association for Conservation and Shooting contacting these companies and objecting to this discourse generally. It is almost as if they were afraid of even a single company not applauding their controversial practices?  

About half the companies on the original 'best performers' list remain and many more have contacted us about joining it since the campaign began.  This is not the end of this story by any means – but an interesting point at which to pause and reflect on progress so far. 

Find out more about our Grouse Shooting campaign.  









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