Written by PETA
With the Super Bowl fast approaching, all eyes are on CBS and its plans to run an anti-abortion ad featuring college-football-star-to-watch Tim Tebow, sponsored by Focus on the Family. "We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms on the issue," said CBS spokesperson Dana McClintock—the same woman who cited the network's "general policy against airing advocacy advertisements" when CBS refused to air our "Pizza Delivery" ad in 2004.
Apparently, the times are a-changin', and we're left asking a question: Do CBS' actions herald an era in which our provocative spots will see airtime? We hope so! But for now, as the advertising debate rages on, we're happy taking a trip down memory lane. Over at Too Hot for TV headquarters, we've collected all our past banned commercials. Remember last year when NBC nixed our scintillating "Veggie Love" Super Bowl ad—and it went on to become a viral phenomenon? Well, that's only the tip of the infotainment iceberg, which includes all the classics—from "Milk Gone Wild" to Joaquin Phoenix's Thanksgiving PSA.
Here's to next year: the year we'll (hopefully) make it onto a list of top 10 Super Bowl commercials that actually aired.
Written by Logan Scherer
Obviously, Veggie Love would have been the best Super Bowl commercial of all time. But because NBC rejected PETA's ad, we had to leave it off our list of the most appealing and most appalling commercials that aired during this year's game:
Bridgestone: In Bridgestone's Super Bowl entry, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head are out for a country drive, swerving around a curvy mountain road. With Mrs. Potato Head busy screaming at Mr. Potato Head, he turns a blind corner and almost runs into a flock of sheep. Thankfully, Bridgestone's tires save the day (and the sheep!) and offer viewers a reminder that it's important to brake for animals. (This is a big deal: Every day, an estimated 1 million animals are killed on U.S. highways alone.)
Coca-Cola: This ad dazzled Super Bowl viewers with its CGI portrayal of ladybugs, grasshoppers, bumblebees, dragonflies, and other insects. An ad this beautiful showcases the advancements in CGI and animatronic technologies that have completely eliminated the need to use live animals in film, television, and advertising. Coca-Cola proves that you can put together a successful ad that makes no artistic compromises while still sending the important message that animal abuse is always wrong.
Sobe: Like Coca-Cola, Sobe used high-tech CGI technology (and absolutely no live animals) to depict lizards dancing with football players. Best of all, no Naomi Campbell this year (we may wish she was CGI, but, unfortunately, she and her furs are all-too-real).
Budweiser: Normally, we despise Budweiser's ads featuring Clydesdale horses (who needs a live mascot when there are so many creative alternatives?). But this year, Budweiser almost got on our good side. One of their Clydesdales falls in love with an enslaved circus horse. We're glad to see that Budweiser seems opposed to the exploitation of horses in circuses, but that leaves us a bit confused as to why they're OK with taking advantage of these animals in their own commercials.
Pedigree: We're glad Pedigree promotes adopting dogs from animal shelters (and not keeping exotic animals captive). It appears, though, that at least some of the exotic animals in the commercial are the real deal (as opposed to CGI). Since they clearly weren't filmed in their natural environment, Pedigree looks like one more company that doesn't practice what it preaches.
Doritos: Generally, Doritos' commercials are pretty funny, but one of their ads was completely spoiled by the presence of a capuchin monkey. All animals forced into show business are subjected to beatings and intensive confinement, and capuchin monkeys in particular are high-strung and often resort to self-mutilation in response to stress and boredom. Not funny. At all. Plus, I'm pretty bitter that this commercial depicted a woman's clothes flying off: I thought NBC didn't allow "sexy" ads? I guess this one just slipped by someone at NBC.
Castrol Oil: Without a doubt, "Castrol Oil: Edge Monkeys" wins the Worst of the Worst award for this year's ads. Castrol must not have gotten the memo that young chimpanzees used in the entertainment industry are ripped away from their mothers, beaten into submission, and discarded at filthy roadside zoos when they grow too large and strong to be controlled. Is anyone still laughing? Somehow, I don't think the chimpanzees ever were. Send a letter demanding they stop running the ad and never use great apes in advertisements again!
What were your favorite and least favorite commercials? Leave a comment and let us know.
Written by Liz Graffeo
Russell Simmons—hip-hop mogul, philanthropist, and editor-in-chief of the online social network developed by and for the hip-hop community, GlobalGrind.com—loves, loves, loves our Veggie Love Super Bowl ad, which was summarily rejected by NBC.
To help us make up for the viewers we lost by not being aired during the 2009 big Sunday game-of-all-games, GlobalGrind.com is calling on other media outlets to help us receive the more than 90 million "impressions," or views, we were denied.
"The hip-hop community is the biggest and best branding community in the world, which is why I feel my site GlobalGrind.com has a responsibility to the community to serve," says Russell, who has been a vegan for 9 years. "When we spread the word that corporate America is feeding us poison, the community will listen." He adds, "Global Grind is donating media space that will give the ad at least 50 million impressions, and this is just the beginning."
You can get in on the action, too. Make Russell and all your PETA Files friends proud by watching the ad right now, leaving a comment, and forwarding it to all your friends. And, hey, send it to your "enemies" too! You never know—they may become your friends after they see it.
You can also catch Russell in PETA President Ingrid Newkirk's newest book One Can Make a Difference as he contributed an essay, along with other compassionate celebrities. Click here for more information.
Written by Christine Doré
$825 billion. That's a lot of stimulus package. And Congress says zoos and aquariums won't see a penny of it.
While that's all well and good (as zoos are no vacation homes for animals), we've come up with a proposal that's a win-win situation for some big zoos.
We have offered to provide a lifetime supply of fruit or a donation toward animal care of $1,000 for every animal if the zoos end their breeding programs and reinvent themselves as sanctuaries for exotic animals rescued from circuses, abusive owners, and roadside attractions. Or, a zoo can get our money or fruit if it becomes a modern "virtual zoo" with animatronics and video footage of wildlife instead of real captives. That way, the animals are happier and the zoo has less work, more visitors, and some funds.
Do you think they'll go for it? Click here to read our letter to the Denver Zoo, and then tell us what you think.
Hayden Panettiere's alter-ego on Heroes may be indestructible, but in real life, the actor has a soft spot for animals.
You may remember that Hayden is a vegetarian who fought for dolphins in Japan a couple of years ago. Well, the pint-sized star once again proved that she has a huge heart for animals by intervening in behalf of birds on the Heroes set. When some birds in a nearby tree disrupted filming, a member of the crew reportedly attempted to disperse them by blasting them with a huge leaf blower. That didn't sit well with Hayden, who apparently sprang into action, shouting, "What are you doing? How would you like someone to blow that thing inside your house?" She made such a ruckus that the crew had no choice but to move the scene to a different location.
Kudos to you, Hayden, for always standing up for what's right (and for kicking butt and taking names on my fave show). Milo, you'd best be good to our lady!
Veggie Love—our ad that we tried to air during the upcoming Super Bowl but that was rejected by NBC—has sparked mega-interest in the sex appeal of bok choy and broccoli! From CNN and Fox News to the Huffington Post—and Whoopi Goldberg acting out the ad on The View—everyone's in the mood … for steaming-hot vegetables.
Some sillies have labeled the video as NSFW and NSFTSB because of the sexual theme and scantily clad women, but others have rightly pointed out that PETA is not alone in such advertising.
Does anyone remember the Carl's Jr. commercial in which a woman rides a mechanical bull while chowing down on a greasy beef burger? I guess a bump and grind with a mechanical animal is somehow less suggestive than playfully licking a pumpkin?
Part of the debate surrounding the ad has been about the beautiful actresses who lent their talents for it. Our behind-the-scenes video gives you an insiders' look at the set of "Veggie Love," and Cassie (the hot tub girl) talks about her lives and loves. Amanda goes into the whole group thing, but that's another story …
Written by Amy Cook
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has to have a lot on his mind right now. With the Super Bowl right around the corner, he's gotta be fully focused on taking the Cards to their first "Big Dance." And stress? Not only is he feeling pressure to bring home some more Super Bowl bling, but his wife and kids are also pressuring him to bring home a dog.
According to a recent article, good ol' Kurt allegedly promised his family that they could get a dog if the Cards win the Super Bowl. While Warner doesn't seem quite ready to bow to their request for a new bow-wow yet, wife Brenda isn't backing down. And neither are we. Recently, our sports aficionado Dan Shannon penned a missive to Warner asking him to consider adopting a dog from an animal shelter.
"The Cardinals have been called an underdog all season, so I think you'll easily sympathize with the 'underdogs' staring out from the shelter kennels, longing for someone to take them home and love them," writes Dan in the letter.
Our advice to Kurt? Watch out for the blitz, don't get on Anquan Boldin's bad side, and avoid getting tackled by or tangled up in Polamalu's hair. And if you do win, skip Disneyland and take the kiddies to your local animal shelter instead. If you don't win, head to the shelter anyways. Nothing mends a broken heart like the love of a good mutt.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
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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.