March 28, 2006

You will have recently received details of the Ethical Ebay campaign and website, designed to persuade eBay to introduce a policy of banning fur sales.

Wow - did it make an impact!

Within three hours of the site being publicised, at least a dozen sellers had contacted us to say they would never sell fur again. We sent a fake email to all the fur sellers whose details we have from a "journalist" from a fictitious news agency, in which he explained he was covering the campaign and promised anonymity (!) in exchange for their comments on how the campaign had affected them and what they felt about it.

Many reported having received dozens of emails over a few hours. One said that if the "non-paying bidder" aspect of the campaign caught on, some of the fur traders would be forced out of business.

It is often said that the effect of a campaign can be judged by the fury it generates from the opposition. If that fury can be measured in vitriol and death threats, this campaign has, indeed, been effective!

At this point could we must express our grateful thanks to everyone who reacted to swiftly and so positively to our initial mailout.

The downside is that the furore (including particularly nasty death threats to a teenager wrongly identified by the fur traders as being connected with the campaign and who has been forced to seek police protection), has been such that, early this morning, the ISP felt they had to pull the plug on the website.

Does this mean the end of the campaign? In your dreams, fur traders!

The reaction to this launch from campaigners has demonstrated how much support there is for efforts to destroy eBay's fur sales.

The reaction to this launch from fur sellers has demonstrated how frightened they are by such a campaign.

Taken together, those reactions leave us more determined to end fur sales than we were when we started - and, crucially, much more confident than we were that this can be achieved. The days of fur being sold on eBay are numbered - and thanks to you, there already there are fewer fur traders on eBay than there were 24 hours ago.

We will take a little time to consider how best to move the campaign forward and will be in touch again in due course.

Finally, please note that, to ensure you can get in touch, this campaign has TWO email addresses. Within an hour of the campaign launch yesterday, Wanadoo had suspended our email account! Although they reinstated it following protests, we decided on two accounts to play safe:

All the best