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Abbey finally sees red

Abbey has bowed to pressure from conservationists and quietly changed the species of squirrel in its advertising from grey to the native red squirrel.

The bank last month began using the red species in its savings ads and says it no longer features grey squirrels. The move was met with delight by the UK Red Squirrel Group.

Grey squirrels, introduced to the UK in the 19th century, have driven red squirrels almost to extinction by importing disease and competing for food.

Money Marketing reported in April that one irate protester in Carlisle knocked over a row of cardboard cutouts featuring grey squirrels in Abbey’s Isa ads. The bank compounded campaigners’ woes by running an ad featuring the grey squirrel that halted the Champions League semi-final between Arsenal and Villarreal that month.

Abbey spokesman Joe Wiggins says: “We took into account the feelings many people had, as many want to see red squirrels used.”

UK RSG campaigner Jessa Battersby says: “It is a positive move as it is a conservation issue and it is important to highlight the plight of the red squirrel.”

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