Fireworks advert featuring dog wearing ear defenders sparks furious reaction

Fireworks night is a stressful time for many dogs dog-angry
© Pixabay

Animal lovers have criticised a midlands based company for using a picture of a dog with its ears covered as part of a campaign to sell more fireworks.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 28/10/2019, 20:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:23

Fireworks aren't funny

The giant poster, designed by Cheltenham Fireworks, shows a scared-looking pooch wearing ear defenders while fireworks explode in the background, The tagline reads: "We don't sell pet ear defenders, but we do sell fawking good fireworks!"


Cheltenham fireworks you should be ashamed of yourselves - absolutely disgusting advert - fireworks should be banned- ##stand up for animals ##who have no voice to defend themselves ##

Posted by Maddy Madrid on Sunday, October 27, 2019

But the marketing campaign soon backfired after it sparked hundreds of complaints from pooch lovers. Many people criticised the advert's insensitive approach to what is a very real issue for thousands of dogs around bonfire night.

The sound of exploding fireworks makes many dogs feel nervous and anxious. This can sometimes induce a fight or flight reflex, and animal welfare charities always report a spike in the number of runaway dogs around bonfire night.

Laura Stewart, 43, is a professional dog walker from Stroud, Gloucestershire. When asked about the poster, she said: 

"I was absolutely sick when I saw it. It's something that terrifies both dogs and people and to actually take the mick out of it is awful. They just don't care about people's animals at all." 

Other concerned dog owners took to social media to vent their anger. One person commented:

"Your add sends out a very uncaring image and is unprofessional."

An apology to dogs everywhere

Cheltenham Fireworks issued an apology for any offence the advert may have caused. A spokesperson for the company said:

"We did not intend to offend anyone in any way shape or form with our advert. The idea came about because we are pet owners ourselves, and we are more than aware of the distress loud noises can cause."

Public pressure on restricting the sale of fireworks has been building over the last few years. Several big-name retailers have already taken fireworks off their shelves, including supermarket giant Sainsburys.

For information on how to keep your dog safe around firework night, check out this guide by the RSPCA.