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Controversial Animal Research Ads

RAT-HER Billboard Asks Who You Would Rather See Live

— May 22, 2011 — Lifestyle
Recently, a number of pro-animal-research RAT-HER billboards were seen in Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore and Madison, Wisconsin. Funded by the nonprofit Foundation for Biomedical Research, the $150,000 advertising campaign shows a rat juxtaposed with a little girl, and the copy, “Who would you RATHER see live?” The graphics around the word "rather" divide it so that "rat" and "her" are associated with the images near them, further prompting viewers to make a choice about which they’d rather see live.

This has stirred up a lot of controversy. The group Puget Sound Anarchists in Seattle reported that one display had been defaced to answer the question with, “Both actually,” and the URL “UWKillsanimals.com” was also added. The Portland RAT-HER billboard was changed to read “Who would RATHER live?” and the website at the bottom was changed from researchsaves.org to researchkills.org.

The debate between biomedical researchers and animal rights activists isn’t likely to be resolved soon, but the RAT-HER billboard campaign has certainly sparked conversation.


Image Credit: 1 | 2 | 3
Trend Themes
1. Alternative Research Methods - The controversial RAT-HER billboard campaign highlights the need for alternative research methods that do not involve animal testing.
2. Public Opinion on Animal Research - The controversy surrounding the RAT-HER billboard campaign highlights a trend towards public concern and rejection of animal research.
3. Ethical Advertising Practices - The RAT-HER billboard campaign raises the issue of ethical advertising practices in sensitive subjects like animal research.
Industry Implications
1. Biomedical Research - The RAT-HER billboard campaign presents a disruptive innovation opportunity for biomedical research to find non-animal testing methods.
2. Animal Rights Activism - The controversial RAT-HER billboard campaign highlights an opportunity for the animal rights activism industry to further spread their message.
3. Marketing and Advertising - The debate and controversy sparked by the RAT-HER billboard campaign presents an opportunity for the marketing and advertising industry to re-evaluate their approach to sensitive subjects.
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