The Captive Animals' Protection Society contacted the Advertising Standards Authority after seeing the claim made on a poster. The watchdog ordered the Lincolnshire-based circus to withdraw the claim after the pressure group pointed out there was no vote and the award was decided by just one person, back in 2003.
"These were completely meaningless awards judged by a single person - the editor of a trade magazine," said Craig Redmond, campaigns manager at the society.
Martin Lacey, director of the circus, called the watchdog's ruling "a travesty and a nonsense". He added: "There was just one complaint. The society represents a minority view with a very loud voice."