Thursday, November 21, 2019  
A weekly newsletter from Americans for Medical Progress highlighting the latest
animal activism developments and significant science news for communicators and security professionals.

-- For internal use only, not for distribution--

Editor’s note: AMPNews will not publish next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. It will return on Thursday, December 5th. 
White Coat Waste Project Says Anti-NIH Ad Was Rejected Despite News Report Claiming Otherwise 
White Coat Waste Project and members of its leadership team have posted several claims on social media that ads submitted by the organization to a Maryland transit authority are being censored. The proposed ad, shown below, targets the National Institutes of Health for addiction studies taking place in monkeys. 
White Coat Waste says it wants to place the ads on trains in buses throughout Maryland but according to the animal rights group, the agency that manages advertising for the Maryland Transit Administration declined the ad. White Coat Waste says the agency claims that the ad makes prohibited substances appealing to children. The story was covered by the Washington Examiner

However, that same story has also been corrected. This update was posted at the bottom soon after publication:
It’s unknown why the Washington Examiner has failed to correct its headline. Despite that important clarification, the animal rights group continues to post social media messages stating that the ad was rejected. 

This is not the first time that White Coat Waste has criticized transit authorities in connection to paid ads submitted for consideration. The group filed a lawsuit last year against the same transit authority in relation to ads targeting feline research at the USDA. White Coat Waste also launched a lawsuit against the Greater Richmond Transit Company over ads targeting canine studies at a Virginia VA facility. 
AMP Advice: Options to Consider When Facing an Animal Rights Ad Campaign
Using paid advertising to target animal studies is a longtime tactic employed by animal rights groups. PETA, In Defense of Animals and other organizations have been known to purchase bus, billboard and even local TV ads. So what can you do when you learn of a campaign targeting your facility? Here are a few tips:

Get All the Details.
Work with marketing and communications staff to learn more about the ads. Large research organizations, especially those with hospitals, often have close relationships with sales staff at advertising companies. They can often learn where and when the ads will appear and for how long. It’s also common for animal rights groups to distribute copies of their ads before they go public. Having this information is critical when deciding what to do next.   

Determine Whether the Ads Actually Cause Damage.
Many animal rights ads DO NOT target specific organizations. For example, below is a general billboard that PETA uses as part if it’s speciesism campaign: 
Other times, groups do name a specific company or university in advertising. Find out which is the case. If they don’t name your organization, consider wether responding makes sense. Sometimes, animal rights groups place ads to target employees and cause discomfort, but most residents have no idea that a local organization is the focus. If this is the case, remember the importance of employee communications. Even if your company or university decides not to respond, explaining the decision and the strategy to employees can go a long way in maintaining morale.  

Is There a Basis for Pushing Back?
If the ad mentions your organization or in cases where the public will clearly make the connection, consider how you might respond. Does the ad make false claims? Does it threaten the safety of staff and most importantly, can you effectively communicate this? If so, reaching out to the ad company might make sense. AMP is aware of cases where advertisers have decided to no longer accept ads from certain groups citing safety concerns. Even if you are unsuccessful in getting an ad pulled, consider communicating with advertising salespeople and educating them for future reference. Smart advertisers recognize that long-term, local business relationships are more important than short-term partnerships with animal rights groups several states away.  

Some Strategies for Responding.
AMP believes the best response strategy is to begin by writing a letter and sending it to the advertising company via mail and email. We suggest that the letter remain friendly and non-confrontational. We also think it is helpful to suggest a phone call or face-to-face meeting when possible, where you can share your concerns. Again, this is a case where having marketing staff serve in the leading role or working as a partner, can be very helpful. 
Americans for Medical Progress has staff on-hand who have managed communications with advertising companies about ads submitted by animal rights groups. We have also worked with several organizations facing these challenges. Please contact us if we can offer any advice or assistance. 
Update on PETA’s Research Modernization Plan
On Tuesday, we sent out an AMPNews alert to let you know about a new PETA initiative called the “Research Modernization Deal.” The plan is spelled out in a 54 page document. It includes the immediate elimination of animal studies focused on a variety of diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. PETA’s plan is aligned with the EPA’s recently-announced directive aimed at eliminating the use of animals in chemical safety testing by 2035. The federal agency’s plan has been widely condemned by toxicologists and other health experts. 

Since our alert went out earlier this week, PETA has issued a press release, which has received limited media interest. However, it’s very likely that the group will push heavily for news coverage as it seeks to gain the attention of lawmakers and other key parties.  
In Other News…
Australian Animal Rights Group Loses Charity Status
An animal rights group in Australia that created an online interactive map listing thousands of farmers' addresses online has had its charity status revoked . A charities watchdog made the move following an investigation into the group. The database was placed online in January. Activists said they created it to help the public understand where its food came from. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously called the group’s actions “despicable.”
PETA Releases New “Children’s Book”  
Earlier this week, PETA announced that it is publishing a new children’s book for the holidays. It’s titled The Secret Lives of Animals but PETA actually says it is a “children’s book for adults.” It features a series of sound buttons that PETA says play audio of animals screaming. The book targets the use of animals for food, entertainment and research. 

PETA Accused of Distributing Staged Footage From Indiana Pig Farm
Police say graphic footage of an Indiana pig farm that was distributed by PETA on its YouTube page may have been staged . Authorities also suggest it may have been captured by hidden cameras planted at the facility following multiple break-ins. Claims of abuse surfaced in early October when PETA’s footage was first revealed. Following an Indiana State Police investigation, the farm was cleared and will not face charges.  PETA claimed the footage was captured by a government official operating anonymously. However, the whistleblower has not been publicly identified. 
Upcoming Animal Activism Events 
We have included Facebook links, when possible, with additional information. 
November 23
Kingston, New York
An event organized by NY Farm Animal Save.

May 29, 2020
Berkley, California

July 24 - 27, 2020
Taking Action for Animals
Washington, DC 
A conference organized by the Humane Society of the United States.  

August 22, 2020  
Miami, Florida
Ten Research Stories Worth Sharing
Americans for Medical Progress closely monitors the news media and other sources on a daily basis for breakthroughs involving animals. Please feel free to share these stories on your organizations' social media channels:






Baylor College of Medicine, University of California - San Francisco  




Americans for Medical Progress