About That Ad …
Churchill at his starting weight of 70 pounds.
Many readers commented about the cover advertisement and news story in the September issue highlighting the online reality series presented by The Purina Veterinary Diets Project: Pet Slim Down.
Both pieces featured photos of English bulldog Churchill, owned by Sheri Massey-Rozow of Canyon Country, Calif., at his beginning weight of 70 pounds and 90 days later at 61 pounds. The photos are full-body profiles from his right side, but the dog in the “after” photo has significantly different markings than the one in the “before” photo.Readers noticed.
“You might pass along to Purina that the ad about their weight-loss program would be a lot more effective if the BEFORE and AFTER pictures were of the same dog,” wrote Dr. Mary Ann Sheller of Valparaiso, Ind. “At least they put blue collars on both of them.”
“The photos of Churchill were quite impressive,” wrote Dr. Joe Sampson of Readlyn, Iowa. “However, he seems to have undergone a few more changes than just losing nine pounds in 90 days. He also seems to have had his hair change from white to brown on his neck and lost much of the brindle coloration on his hind quarters.”
Why the differences? The first photo was of the dog’s right side, and the second showed his left side. But the second photo was flopped and appeared to show his right side.
The website promoted in the advertisement, Project PetSlimdown.com, includes a video showing Churchill at his weigh-ins that clearly shows the same dog.
“Please be assured that the photos of Churchill are indeed the same dog but from different sides,” explains Grace Long, DVM, MS, MBA, director of veterinary technical marketing for Nestlé Purina PetCare in St. Louis, Mo.
“I saw him monthly during the pilot study and can confirm that he lost nine pounds in three months.