Thursday, April 29, 2010

Will Crufts Lose Its Discount Sofa Sponsor?

The Crufts dog show is like an old couch kicked to the curb and left out in the rain: a broken down thing that looks bad, smells worse, and is now looking for a place to die in peace.

The problems started a long time ago, of course, back when it was the Allied Terrier Show.

Perhaps a clear warning was that it was always a commercial venture. Charles Crufts himself, believe it or not, never even owned a dog.

Crufts has always celebrated the bizarre and contrived; dogs with pushed in faces, bug eyes, and coats so long and thick they satisfy the pent up needs of even the most frustrated of wannabe hair dressers.

And of course, work was never celebrated, and inbreeding was not only encouraged, but required in breed after breed.

How could anything but disaster come from this?

Everyone saw it, but it was not until Pedigree Dogs Exposed put it on tape and explained it, that the consciousness of consumers was properly shocked.

In rapid succession, companies pulled out of Crufts, not the least of which was the BBC and Pedigree dog food.

Who wanted their products identified with animal abuse, defect, disease and deformity?

No one!

Finally, the Kennel Club found Graham Kirkham, a wealthy breeder of Dalmatians (a breed famous for deafness and a uric acid disorder that requires some dogs to have a hole drilled into the base of their penis).

Kirkham had a company that sold discount furniture, and in exchange for Crufts adding a couch to its logo (no, we are not making this up), he agreed to have his corporation underwrite the Crufts fiasco show.

Now, however, Dog World reports:

THE FUTURE of DFS’ sponsorship of Crufts may be in doubt following owner and chairman Lord Kirkham’s decision to sell the Yorkshire-based company.

Kennel Club member and Dalmatian owner Graham Kirkham is believed to have pocketed about £300m from the sale to private equity firm Advent International.

DFS sponsored this year’s Crufts and told DOG WORLD at the time that the arrangement between the company and the Kennel Club was based on an informal arrangement with no contractual commitment.

DFS's contractual support for Crufts is assured through 2011, but after that, things are adrift.

Who wants to pick up this dirty, damaged and smelly couch and make it the center piece of their living room? Anyone? Time will tell.

1 comment:

an American in Copenhagen said...

I was wondering why a furnature company would want to sponsor a dog show. Things make sense now!