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Animal Day: Updating An Animal Protection Law in Argentina


Le Challenge
PEDIGREE®, a leading pet food brand worldwide, has a longstanding genuine commitment to making the world a better place for dogs. In 2011, just before Argentina’s Animal Day, a day of commemoration for the men who founded the country’s first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, PEDIGREE® launched a petition campaign with the help of Burson-Marsteller to support the nongovernmental organization Action to Eradicate Animal Mistreatment (A.P.E.M.A.) in its quest to change animal protection laws in Argentina.

The main objective of the campaign was to set the issue of animal welfare on the public agenda and to encourage the public, government officials and members of parliament to amend the existing animal protection law. PEDIGREE® wanted to create a new law that would prohibit the use of euthanasia to control the cat and dog population in Argentina. The team’s strategy was to create a digital campaign that drove social media users to sign a petition on a microsite and therefore highlight the public’s interest in the issue.

Burson planned a large-scale digital campaign with the hopes of creating and sharing content that would go viral to reach the campaign’s large audience – the entire country of Argentina. In order to accomplish this, Burson helped PEDIGREE® establish a presence for the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The team also created and shared an online petition for social media users to show their support for new animal protection legislation.

Over the course of the campaign, the team conducted extensive media outreach, promoted a public service announcement, capitalized on advertising, and developed a video campaign featuring endorsing actress Marcela Kloosterboer and an abandoned dog named Blanquita. The team also organized radio interviews and internal communication efforts among employees of PEDIGREE® and its parent company MARS.

On July 19, 2011, the President of Argentina signed a decree (No.1088) which introduced an end to the euthanizing of dogs and cats as a method of population control. The decree adopted surgical sterilization as the only ethically acceptable method of population control.

In just four weeks, the online petition obtained 122,977 signatures. During the campaign, the PEDIGREE® Facebook page received a total of 88,276 new likes and 15,274 comments. On Twitter, Pedigree obtained 1,750 new followers.