Written by PETA
As anyone who's seen our Super Bowl commercial can attest, we know a good ad when we see one. We can also spot a bad advertisement, and when we do, we're not shy about sharing our feelings. Every time we see that a company has incorporated a negative—or positive—message about animals into an ad, we immediately contact it with a nomination for our annual Litterbox or Glitterbox awards. We've sifted through the finalists, and we're excited to announce 2008's winners. Drum roll, please …
In the Litterbox category, for ads that stink:
The Golden Scoop goes to … Levi Strauss & Co., for exploiting an orangutan in its recent viral video. Undercover investigations at primate training facilities reveal that trainers rip baby great apes away from their mothers and kick, punch, and beat them in order to force them to perform confusing and uncomfortable "tricks" that they don't understand.
The Silver Scoop goes to … Kansas City International Airport, for its use of a chimpanzee, Kenzie, in an ad that never should have made it off the ground. Chimpanzees can live to be more than 60 years old, but by the age of 8, they become too strong to be handled and are often discarded at roadside zoos, where they can languish in squalor for decades.
And the Bronze Scoop goes to … Citigroup for featuring a live elephant in its commercial "Safari," which showed an elephant sitting on the hood of a family's rental car. Animal trainers want you to think that elephants are treated with love and care, but if that were the truth, don't you think that elephant trainers would be carrying bags of peanuts instead of bullhooks?
Now, for the best ads of the year:
The Golden Scoop goes to … Bridgestone and its ad agency the Richards Group for a charming commercial showing that—thanks to dependable tires—animals don't have to be the victims of drivers' love for the open road. Cars kill an estimated 1 million animals every day in the U.S. alone.
The Silver Scoop goes to … ADT and its ad agency W.B. Doner & Company for showing that the company's Fire Protection Program saves human and animal lives. Dogs are part of the family for about 45 percent of Americans, and it's important to make sure that we take all the necessary steps to protect animals in emergencies.
The Bronze Scoop goes to … Architex International, for an ad promoting the company's authentic faux-leather line, which features four cows and the tagline "Hey, it's no skin off our backs." As if producing this excellent cruelty-free product wasn't enough, Architex goes above and beyond in this ad to let consumers know why faux is the only way to go.
Here's hoping that all companies decide to follow the lead of progressive companies like Bridgestone, ADT, and Architex International and think outside the "litterbox" with their new ads in 2009. We'll be watching.
Written by Liz Graffeo
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.