Petfood manufacturer Pedigree was replaced by Nestle Purina as the sponsor of the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, partially because the club's previous longtime sponsor aired commercials featuring sad, homeless pets.
Westminster Kennel Club says the Pedigree ads, featuring shaking, abused pets up for adoption, did not represent the dog show's atmosphere.
“We want people to think of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as a celebration of the dogs in our lives,” said David Frei, the club’s director of communications.
Frei said the club expressed its concern to Pedigree, a 24-year sponsor, but made the switch to Nestle Purina in Spring 2011, whose commercials feature more athletic, silly dogs. Frei said the switch was also partly for economic reasons.
"Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don’t try to shame me,” Frei said. “We told them that, and they ignored us.”