Why a Dead Fish Doesn’t Make for Good PR

Posted on by Ashley Fruno

Goldfish PRIn an attempt to entice visitors to South Australia, Karen Raffen, the CEO of Advantage SA, spearheaded a campaign in which live goldfish were sent to 55 potential media buyers across Australia. The PR agency sent the fish, many of whom arrived dead, with the tagline “Test the water and be the big fish in a small pond.”

The response from both animal activists and members of the general public has been overwhelmingly negative. PR guru Chris Rann was confused as to why the gimmick had even gone ahead, saying, “This is about the dumbest PR stunt that I have seen in many a year.”

He’s not alone either, with even renowned media buyers such as Harold Mitchell voicing their opinions. “It’s hard to see how a promotion like that would work,” Mitchell said. “There’s every chance of it going wrong and quite obviously it has.” The issue at hand, though, is not whether the campaign would work but once again society’s staggering indifference to animal suffering.

Whether they’re being plucked out of their ocean home to lay dead on plates or crammed into aquariums as decorations, fish get a raw deal. In fact, billions die every year in nets and on hooks. Some are destined for human consumption, while many are tortured for “sport.” When fish are yanked from the water, they begin to suffocate – whether they’re released or not. Their gills often collapse, and their swim bladders can rupture because of the sudden change in pressure. In short, capturing them causes them a great deal of needless suffering.

Most people (except marine biologists!) know precious little about our slippery friends who live in the sea. Check out these fun facts about fish:

  • Some breeds of fish tend well-kept gardens. They encourage the growth of tasty algae and weed out the types that they don’t like. So it’s not just humans who are picky eaters!
  • Many male fish woo potential partners by singing to them. While this is not particularly easy to do coherently underwater, the female fish don’t seem to mind.
  • Fish talk to each other through squeaks, squeals, and other low-frequency sounds that humans can hear only through special instruments.

Do something kind for fish everywhere by pledging to go vegetarian today!

Posted by Claire Fryer