Super Bowl Sunday between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots is nearly here. Many fans look forward to the ingenious TV commercials which air that day almost as much as they do the game. But a growing number of organizations from the business world and animal welfare want CareerBuilder to cut their ad that features chimpanzees.
The Lincoln Park Zoo, Humane Society of the United States and Ad Age have all launched separate campaigns to stop CareerBuilder from airing its latest ad that exploits chimpanzees.
In its ad, CareerBuilder has chimps dressed in human clothes and performing “demeaning and unnatural behaviors.” The ad has them act as annoying co-workers who keep their human counterparts from completing a successful day’s work.
CareerBuilder is spending $3.5 million to show this ad during the 2012 Super Bowl. A similar ad they ran last year ranked No. 6 on the USA TODAY ad meter, which is probably why they are using the same format again.
Zoo officials from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo say the ad hurts conservation efforts to help the endangered chimpanzees. The cute antics in the commercial make people think the chimps would be good pets.
Dr. Steve Ross, assistant director of the zoo’s Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes said, “Individual chimps are being harmed and wild populations are being harmed by this frivolous use of an endangered species.”
He is concerned that ads like CareerBuilder’s create a new market for wild chimpanzees to be stolen from their habitat and sold into entertainment. Chimpanzees have already dwindled from more than 1 million to about 100,000 in the wild. The species won’t be able to handle new ways to exploit them.
CareerBuilder stands behind their commercial and insists “the strictest guidelines were used to ensure our chimpanzee stars were treated well and not harmed in any way.”
HSUS says that type of thinking is naïve and CareerBuilder should look at the “sequence of suffering and harm that occur before and after the shoot.”
“It starts with infant chimpanzees stripped from their fiercely protective mothers, suffering long-term psychological damage and then being subjected to abusive training. It ends with the chimpanzees too large to control – usually before age 7 – when they are dumped at roadside zoos, in small backyard cages, or used for breeding the next generation of chimpanzee performers or pets,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS CEO.
Ad Age reported that CareerBuilder used an in-house ad agency to film their commercial because 10 of the top 15 advertising agencies in the world won’t use chimps anymore.
They said, “Over the past few years, you may have noticed fewer and fewer commercials featuring apes – chimpanzees, in particular. That’s a positive development, but the fact is there should be none.”
HSUS has started a campaign called “Change the Channel for Chimps.” It asks Super Bowl fans to change the channel when the CareerBuilder ad airs. Lincoln Park Zoo hopes to ban the commercial through a petition or to at least stop CareerBuilder from showing a similar ad in 2013.
Take Action: Please Sign “Stop Using Chimpanzees In Entertainment“
Photo from lightmatter via flickr.