By Dr. Andrew Jones
Purina launches ‘I Stand Behind Beneful’ campaign
Recently Purina has been hit with a glut of bad press..
Such as this:
Lawsuit claims Purina’s Beneful pet food is killing thousands of dogs
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. is defending its Beneful brand pet food after a class-action lawsuit claimed the product has poisoned and killed thousands of dogs.
Frank Lucido, who filed the lawsuit earlier this month in a California federal court, alleges the pet food “contains substances that are toxic to animals and that have resulted in the serious illness and death of thousands of dogs.”
Lucido took one of his sick dogs to the vet for an examination. Tests “revealed signs of internal bleeding in her stomach and liver malfunction consistent with poisoning,” the lawsuit said.
The pet owner alleges in the suit that in the past four years, “consumers have made more than 3,000 online complaints about dogs becoming ill, in many cases very seriously ill, and/or dying after eating Beneful. The dogs show consistent symptoms, including stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, bloat, and kidney failure.”
Purina denies the allegations, calling Beneful “100 per cent safe to feed” and the “lawsuit is without merit.” The company said it will “vigorously defend ourselves through the legal process.”
Purina then starts this..
Pet food company takes on consumer accusations, hopes veterinarians will get #AskYourVet trending.
Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. has launched a new marketing campaign in the wake of pet owner accusations against Beneful pet food that has social media and online forums atwitter with claims that Beneful harms pets. The “I Stand Behind Beneful” campaign aims to tackle accusations head on. Ads feature Purina associates who share their confidence and pride in the brand.
Purina is also hoping to get #AskYourVet trending. The social media marketing push attempts to reframe the claims that Beneful is causing illness in pets. Purina maintains that allegations—including those made in a lawsuit earlier this year—are false, unfounded and lack evidence-based science. “Purina’s position is very simple,” Vlieks says. “If someone thinks their pet is sick, they should call their veterinarian, bottom line.”
Purina has coined the hashtag…Ask Your Vet, assuming veterinarians are ‘on side’, lending credibility to their food..
Here is what they will be sending out
> Remember to #AskYourVet if you are concerned about your pet’s health. Information found online is often unsubstantiated.
> Are you concerned about your pet’s health? #AskYourVet—don’t rely on rumors and misinformation found online.
> Pet foods are one of the most highly regulated products sold in the US. If your pet is sick, don’t assume it’s from food, DO #AskYourVet
Dr Jones’ comments
Are some of the ingredients in Beneful potentially harmful?
Could Purina not respond in a more respectful way, potentially eliminating some of the possibly toxic ingredients, such as propylene glycol?
Do I feed, or advise that you feed your pets Beneful?
No- Here is the ingredient list…
Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, rice flour, beef, soy flour, meat and bone meal, propylene glycol, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, animal digest, sorbic acid (a preservative)..
Corn as the 1st ingredient, poor quality protein in terms of ‘chicken by-product meal,
Three of the 1st four ingredients are a carbohydrate.
I don’t advise you feed this to your pets, and I suspect most veterinarians won’t advise that you feed Beneful…especially in light of the unexplained deaths.
My suggestions to Purina..
Acknowledge that there may be a problem with your food.
Do what you can to make it healthier, and still affordable.
Don’t try and get ‘perceived’ veterinary support by having words trend on social media
Andrew Jones, DVM
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