BASC is complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the content of an anti-shooting film released by cosmetics company Lush.

The short film – hosted by LushTimesEN – makes a number of allegations about pheasant shooting which BASC believes breach the ASA’s strict codes on misleading communications.

In particular, BASC is challenging the claim that pheasants released on shoots “spread disease, eat native wildlife and create lead shot pollution”.

In complaining to the ASA, BASC is also asking Lush to substantiate its assertion that “Most….pheasants die of starvation, road-accidents or are eaten by predators”.

Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and deer management, said: “The emotive rhetoric in this film is so misleading that it simply can’t be allowed to go unchallenged.

“It is, of course, not the first time that Lush has campaigned against shooting and we are usually happy to respond directly and constructively on behalf of shooting to set the record straight.

“In this case, the film is so wrong that we feel the only option is to ask another authority to rule on the content.

“Lush, as a high street retailer, has a responsibility to ensure information it releases, in whatever format, is accurate and bears scrutiny.

“Lush obviously has a strong following among consumers and we believe that such films, while designed to satisfy a campaign agenda, are also being used by Lush to prop up its commercial interests. In effect, it is a de facto advert for Lush.

“It is important, therefore, that inaccuracies are challenged appropriately so that they are not allowed to be presented as facts. In this case, we are asking the Advertising Standards Authority to take a position.”

BASC is presenting a complaint to the ASA and is also asking individual shooters to do likewise. The ASA has previously adjudicated against Lush.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser QC said: “Game shooting and shoot management are covered by a wide range of rules and regulations including statutory codes to cover game rearing. The reality of pheasant shooting is far removed from the picture presented by this film.

“The aim of any shoot manager or gamekeeper is to produce healthy birds fully adapted and living freely in the wild. The conservation benefits of shooting and its role in enhancing biodiversity are well documented. These are the points BASC will be presenting in its evidence to the ASA.”

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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