Peta leaflet was not offensive

The Advertising Standards Authority has rejected a complaint that direct mail sent by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about Kentucky Fried Chicken was offensive and irresponsible.

The animal rights group showed a caricature of KFC's Colonel Sanders grinning while holding up a half-plucked chicken and a bloody knife. It described graphically the conditions in which chickens are kept and the ways of killing them.

A woman complained that it had caused distress to a child after it was posted through her letterbox.

Peta said disturbing facts should not be censored just because they made some people feel uncomfortable, and added that it did not encourage untargeted delivery through letterboxes. Its website says "Don't drop leaflets into mailboxes".

The ASA said it recognised that the leaflet was "likely to upset recipients" but agreed that Peta had done enough to prevent untargeted delivery.

Megan Pacey, director of policy and campaigns at the Institute of Fundraising, said that, although the leaflet was posted through letterboxes, it did not request donations, so the new code of practice for direct mail, published by the institute last month, did not apply. However, she said the ASA's decision was "sound".

She said: "Charities deal with subject matter that is not nice, and what offends people is highly subjective. Peta behaved appropriately."

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