Lush boss Mark Constantine has defended his company’s anti-hunting campaign after it was banned by the advertising watchdog.

He spoke to the Daily Echo after the campaign, by his high street cosmetics chain, was banned following 129 complaints.

A leaflet by the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) and distributed in Lush stores read: “Hunting ban, what hunting ban?”, while a postcard by Lush stated : “The hunts are still at it! The foxes still need your help”, with a note inviting customers to forward it to their local police chief constable.

Complainants to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) raised a range of issues with the campaign, including complaints that it unfairly denigrated hunts and hunters and misleadingly implied that hunts were intentionally and regularly breaking the law.

But Mr Constantine, who founded the Poole-based ethical beauty products company, said: “Of the nine things that were complained about the ASA agreed with us on seven, including the fact that 75 per cent of the general public do not wish to see hunting return.

“One of the things they felt we were too critical of was in relation to the policing of hunts.

“We said police spend around £400,000 policing the hunt, and around £9 million on policing the animal rights people who film the hunts.

“I think this is a question of the resources being reapplied.”

Complaints also argued the campaign misleadingly implied that the Hunting Act was not being properly enforced and that any form of hunting with dogs was illegal, and a claim that “hunting hounds usually lead short lives and are often killed and fed back to the pack” could not be substantiated.

Lush says it regularly undertakes animal welfare campaigns and aims to raise awareness of the 2004 Hunting Act and highlight alleged breaches of the act and its perceived limitations.

It added that the campaign did not use any graphic or shocking images, bad language or demeaning or abusive names, and believed that customers were unlikely to find the advertising offensive.

The ASA ruled that the ads must not appear again in their current form.