Leading UK tourist attraction London Dungeon has apologised for a promotional stunt that has backfired badly with the vegan community.
Earlier this month London Dungeon, which has specialism in dark humour, announced that it would be celebrating Veganuary by “banning vegans” from its premises. This was said to be an act of solidarity with Mrs Lovett, who helped the fictional Victorian barber Sweeney Todd by baking his murder victims into meat pies. “If Mrs Lovett doesn’t do vegan, neither will we,” the attraction declared, naming its month long stunt as ‘VeBANuary’.
Almost as soon as news was out about VeBANuary, it was condemned by vegan and animal rights groups.
The Vegan Society said the “marketing gimmick” was not only not funny, but potentially in breach of the Equality Act. PETA UK said the London Dungeon was “cutting off its nose to spite its face with this gimmick, losing business while vegans amuse themselves at Madame Tussauds, where famous vegans such as Benedict Cumberbatch are immortalized, and other iconic London attractions.”
Taking to social media, vegans who were previously London Dungeon fans, announced that they would cancelling future visits. As the backlash grew more grisly by the hour, London Dungeon stepped in to declare that the ban had never been an actual ban. A spokesperson said: “We apologize for any upset this may have caused and would like to reassure guests that this is not a genuine exclusion as we welcome everyone to explore London’s gruesome history at the London Dungeon.”
London Dungeon’s VeBANuary promotion. Photo, London Dungeon