America Movil SAB, billionaire Carlos Slim’s Latin American wireless carrier, will raffle debit cards instead of puppies to Colombian customers after it received criticism from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Comcel, the Colombian division of the mobile-phone carrier, said in an e-mail it made the decision in response to criticism from various organizations. The company said it contacted PETA, as the Norfolk, Virginia-based animal-rights group is known, and Colombian activists today to inform them of the decision.
America Movil, the biggest wireless company in Latin America, had been registering buyers of LG Electronics Inc. phones for the raffle that ends Jan. 15. The dogs, provided by breeder Cachorros de San Luis, included pugs, beagles, boxers, shih tzus and labradors.
Comcel said it didn’t intend to cause controversy and that it was “sensitive to the considerations it received” although it had taken precautions to assure the responsible treatment of the puppies.
“Kudos to Comcel for recognizing that live animals are not toys and deserve real consideration and commitment,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA vice president, in an e-mailed statement.
At the end of September, Mexico City-based America Movil had 28.8 million wireless subscribers in Colombia and Panama, or 13 percent of its total customer base across Latin America, the U.S. and the Caribbean.
America Movil gained 5 centavos to 36.04 pesos at 4 p.m. New York time in Mexico City trading. The shares have gained 16 percent in the past year.