Friends of Animals ‘flips off’ fur wearers in new interactive ad campaign

New York— In our latest, hard-hitting anti-fur campaign, Friends of Animals (FoA) is “flipping off” those who think it’s cool to wear animals who have been tortured, and encouraging people not to buy fur in protest against an industry that glamorizes and profits off of animal pain, suffering and death.  

The theme of the interactive campaign— #FlipOffFur— uses an image of a fox, a middle finger gesture and a hashtag to create a social media trend. The image will appear on a billboard in Times Square at 7th Ave. between 48th & 49th through December, as well as in print ads, that will take on fur wearers everywhere.

When the campaign, created by Breensmith Advertising, launches on Dec. 1, FoA will rally social media supporters, encouraging them to share the campaign image and use the hashtag. People will also be encouraged to start posting images of people looking ridiculous in fur (i.e. Joe Namath at the Super Bowl last year), as well as celebrities wearing fur, or retailers who sell fur, with the #FlipOffFur hashtag to tell the world it’s time to evolve beyond wearing fur. 

“Our new ad campaign conveys the message that fur-wearers should not be comfortable in the skins of animals whose fur and lives were ripped from them,” said Edita Birnkrant, FoA’s campaigns director. “We need a shift in the collective conscious and this campaign aims to do just that. Forty foxes have to be skinned to make a fur coat. But FoA believes that it only takes one photo to shame someone for wearing it and inspire a global dialogue. To harness the power of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, FOA is urging animal lovers to snap pics of people wearing fur and stores that sell it and use the #FlipOffFur hashtag.”

Like FoA’s previous campaigns, the latest one strikes at the heart of attempts by designers and the International Fur Federation to portray fur as glamorous so they can prosper from it during the key fur-buying season. #FlipoffFur will be seen by millions of shoppers, tourists and New Yorkers, as well as people all over the world thanks to the social media component.

“We think this should be a global conversation,” said Priscilla Feral, FoA’s president. “We are using a clever image to engage people instead of gory one depicting the dark side of the fur industry to get people to reevaluate what they think fashion is. We aren’t trying to make people feel awful—instead we want to make them feel empowered by taking a stand against the brutal fur industry.”

FoA’s anti-fur campaign slams the relevance of fur in today’s fashion as luxurious and warm alternatives to fur are readily available. In 2014, there’s no way to justify slaughtering more than 50 million animals raised on fur farms around the world who are killed for their pelts annually in addition to the approximately 10 million animals trapped in the wild. (This number does not include rabbits.)

“We wanted to convince fur wearers who are starting to think about buying holiday gifts and clothes that it’s not cool to wear animals who have been tortured, and that you shouldn’t be comfortable in their skin,” said Matt Hayes, director of client services for Breensmith.  “If the foxes used for their furs could flip the bird to fur wearers, we know they would—and they’d do it big…in Times Square.”

According to the Fur Information Council of America, mink remains the most popular fur. Other fur types showing growth are broadtail, fox and beaver. In the name of fashion, these animals suffer neck breaking, or are stuffed into boxes pumped full of unfiltered engine exhaust, then skinned. Lynxes, foxes and chinchillas are often electrocuted.

The nearly 500 designers who presented fur in their collections for fall 2014 should be ashamed of themselves and it’s time to “flip them off” and let them and consumers know the key trend in modern fashion is compassion, not fur.

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