We’re not sure if there’s more bark than bite to this story, but we’re hearing from a PR agency contact who handles media buys for a major pet store chain that native might be next up.
Yes, it’s the “puppy mill” controversy. Many pet stores have been accused of selling animals from mills –commercial dog breeding facilities whose emphasis is more on profits than animal welfare. The mills often feature substandard care and introduce weak, sick canines into the community.
Our contact says his client chain is considering native “as a means to counter this unfair criticism that continues to smear the name” of supposedly responsible pet store chains and dog breeding organizations.
It sounds like one store is eager to make it clear that it isn’t contributing to this problem.
We don’t have a dog in this fight and can’t say if the claims are genuine or mere damage control — we’re certain the public will ultimately decide. If the native advertising contained enough verified information that allays people’s concerns, it could potentially be effective. Mere puppy fluff, however, isn’t going to cut it. The public would have to be given more than a Pupperoni to chew on.
NativeMobile will pull your leash if the native advertising gambit makes it out of the strategy meetings (In the meantime, don’t forget about your local humane society and nearby animal shelters. Most of those groups are doing laudable work and don’t need the help of native advertising).