Letter: Distasteful use of a bird dying in oil

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Sir: Your otherwise serious coverage of the Shetland disaster is gravely - and, in the case of my own willingness to read it, fatally - undermined by your decision to carry (9 January) a provocative and exploitative advertisement for knitwear featuring a full-page photograph of an oiled and dying bird. Various casuistical arguments in defence of the advertisement could be imagined, all of them invalid.

I trust that next time the Independent is approached to carry the advertisement it will insist that the firm in question make a large donation to one of the charities now working to alleviate the effects of the oil spill - and that you will make one yourselves.

Yours faithfully,



9 January