NEW DELHI, INDIA - India has ordered British mobile giant Vodafone to pull a television commercial, saying it shows a dog being mistreated, an official said Monday.
The advert, which shows a pug chasing a bus to deliver a tie to its owner, is frequently aired on television here.
The government's Animal Welfare Board of India sent a legal notice to Vodafone and the production house behind the film saying that forcing the dog to run amounted to cruelty.
"We have asked them to pull the advertisement off air as they did not get the approval from us for airing it," the board's secretary D. Rajasekar told AFP.
The board would take legal action against the firm if the advert was not withdrawn, he said.
Both Vodafone and the film company have denied subjecting the pug to stress.
"We are animal lovers ourselves and would never harm the dog. The dog had a very enjoyable shoot," said Sneha Iype, executive producer of Nirvana Films, which made the advert, adding the company was trying to resolve the matter.
A Vodafone spokesman said the film was shot in South Africa, which has strict rules for films involving animals.