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World Animal Protection billboard removed from Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street

World Animal Protection billboard removed from Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street
November 20, 2020

A giant billboard - targeting dolphin care at Gold Coast theme park Sea World - posted in central Melbourne opposite the offices of private equity group BGH Capital has been removed just days after being erected.

With the private equity group currently bidding to purchase Village Roadshow Limited, World Animal Protection had sought to highlight its campaign targeting the breeding of dolphins at the Village Roadshow owned Sea World by having the billboard erected in Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street.

World Animal Protection presumably sought to either discourage BGH’s bid or to have the private equity venture change practices if it is successful.

Following the removal of the billboard, World Animal Protection released a statement in which it made allegations relating to the reasons for it being taken down. The statement advised "after only four days of display, Village contacted the outdoor advertiser, threatening to withdraw future advertising spend if they did not remove World Animal Protection’s mural immediately."

The non-for-profit organisation is reported to have paid $18,000 outdoor advertising agency Apparition for the billboard to be displayed until 30th November.

World Animal Protection also took out a full page advertisement in the Australian Financial Review last week.

Last year, outdoor advertising giant JC Decaux removed a World Animal Protection billboard on the Gold Coast, advising that the sign was "misleading and deceptive".

Village Roadshow is sensitive to any form of perceived criticism of its the care of its marine attractions at Sea World, with the company's management currently opposing BGH Capital’s takeover.

On Monday, The Australian reported that two powerful proxy advisers have recommended Village Roadshow shareholders to vote for BGH Capital's takeover proposal while in the last day BGH Capital is reported to have increased its bid for Village Roadshow from its original $450 million.

A final shareholder vote on the takeover bid will take place at the end of this month.

Sea World’s dolphins are one of its best known and oldest features while, behind the scenes, the theme park is responsible for major conservation projects involving dolphins and marine mammals. The Sea World rescue team, which collaborates with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, undertakes the rescue of stranded and entrapped marine animals - including dolphins, turtles, whales and penguins - and has been called upon numerous times by governments and authorities to assist with marine animal strandings, frequently then embarking on the rehabilitation of these animals if they are injured.

If these rescued animals are unable to return to the wild they remain at the Gold Coast attraction.

Image: World Animal Protection's billboard on Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street prior to its removal.

Related Articles

13th November 2020 - World Animal Protection unveils new campaign calling for end to captive dolphin breeding at Gold Coast’s Sea World

22nd September 2020 - Zoos celebrate World Rhino Day

15th July 2020 - New Zealand zoos and aquariums welcome government relief for animal conservation and care

29th September 2019 - ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums highlight their activities through Conservation Week

18th July 2019 - Zoos and aquariums celebrate and educate through Plastic Free July

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