ends Crufts sponsorship
The Guardian, Saturday 25 October 2008
Pet food brand Pedigree is to end more than 40 years of
sponsorship of Crufts, it said yesterday. It is the latest,
and most financially damaging blow to the world’s biggest
dog show and its organisers, the Kennel Club. Industry insiders
said sponsorship of the event, which takes place in March
in Birmingham, is worth up to £500,000 a year.
In August a BBC documentary alleged that unhealthy and
sometimes inbred dogs were winning best in breed competitions
at the show. Last month the RSPCA said it would boycott
Crufts because, it claimed, the competition’s judging
criteria encouraged the breeding of "deformed and
disabled" dogs. The BBC has appointed a scientific
panel to assess the evidence in the documentary. If it
backs the film the BBC is to stop broadcasting the event,
after more than 40 years. The Kennel Club, which was infuriated
by what it claims was a "biased and selective"
documentary, is reported to have offered the rights to
the show to rival broadcasters ITV and Sky.
A spokeswoman for manufacturer Mars refused to say whether
the documentary row had influenced its decision to pull
out of Crufts. The company said: "The Pedigree brand
has evolved and we are prioritising initiatives that support
the broadest possible community of dog owners." Pedigree
was the principal sponsor of Crufts and has backed the
show since 1964.
this month the Kennel Club announced a review of breeding
standards aimed at rearing healthier dogs.
© Doris Duewel, all rights