This year, our Fur Free Life campaign has taken a new focus. While animal suffering and the lack of animal protection legislation remain at the heart of our campaign for a Fur Free Life, our educational publicity recently concentrated on the serious health risks for wearers of fur. During production, animal skins are treated with extremely toxic chemicals, and it’s the residue of these toxins that present a risk to consumers.
We kicked-off our campaign by adding Chinese subtitles to a German documentary called ‘The Truth about Fur’. Once ACTAsia was granted permission to show it, the screenings began, to much acclaim.
During the months between November and March, ACTAsia held 12 screenings in the cities of Wuhan, Changchun, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Nanchang, Zhejiang, Zhuhai, An’hui, Tangshan, Shihezi, and Xinjiang with more scheduled for the remainder of the year. Each time, the audience showed great interest, and spoke eagerly about their personal experiences with fur, offering to help promote our Public Attitude Survey on the issue.
Our next phase of campaigning came up against a hurdle when the media declined to publish an article written by ACTAsia. The article was intended to inform consumers of fur about the risks to their own health, exposed by various European research studies, but was deemed by the media as ‘too critical of the fur industry’.
But this barrier to education was not enough to stop a very successful campaign from unfolding. Extensive online promotion of the article was already in-hand by ACTAsia’s team of staff, and thanks to the generous financial support of donors, an effective billboard advertising campaign was also launched, as well as a series of adverts on the handles of public buses. The organisation Shenzhen Cats also helped support our cause by offering us the opportunity to continue our education program from their exhibition stand, in the Shenzhen Pets Fair.
The billboards were put up in Beijing and Xi’an and buss handle adverts were used in Tangshan. As a result, our online article received (to date) the following visits online:
- Our ActAsia WeChat: 6,331
- Awakening’s (one of the Fur Free Retailers) WeChat: 1,288
- Our Weibo was read by 18,072
In Beijing a passerby made the following statement:
Mr. Gaiqun Guo said he was so happy to see the toxic fur advertising in the Dongwuyuan station (Beijing, below a huge shopping mall), because the shopping mall upstairs has many shops that sell a lot of fur. He commented that it was very wise to let people know about toxic chemicals in fur, and this was a good choice of location.
In order to further build on the campaign, Focus Media kindly donated space and time through their LED screens situated across China. A 15 second video was created and displayed for a week, 30 times eachday, on more than 100,000 LED screens across 100 cities throughout China. The estimated reach was approximately 300 million viewers, which is more than the populations of the UK, Germany, Italy and France combined, and almost as much as the entire population of the USA!
The message followed our online article on the toxic chemicals found in fur clothing and translated as: “Fur is not fashion. Fur is cruel. Please support fur-free fashion. Scientific research from many countries has proven that fur clothes contain chemicals such as Pentachlorophenol (PCP), Formaldehyde, Chromium VI and heavy metals. These can be absorbed by your porous skin and can cause allergies and cancer as well as disrupt fertility. Far away from toxic fur, join our Fur Free Life!”