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What Happens to CareerBuilder’s Ape ‘Actors’?

Written by PETA | February 7, 2011

Did you ever wonder what happens to the chimpanzees CareerBuilder uses in its Super Bowl ads when the company is done exploiting them?

The lucky ones end up at the Center for Great Apes sanctuary in Wauchula, Florida, which took in Bella, Ellie, Kodua, and Mowgli, all veterans of CareerBuilder’s 2005 Super Bowl ad campaign. 






The four young chimpanzees were turned over to the center when they grew too old (and strong) to be useful to CareerBuilder or anybody else in need of their “acting” services. Like other chimpanzee actors, Ellie, Mowgli, Bella, and Kodua were ripped from their mothers when they were babies and put to work. By age 8, young chimpanzees are too powerful to be handled, and most are shuffled off to roadside zoos, pseudo-sanctuaries, and backyard cages.

As Center for Great Apes founder Patti Ragan points out in a recent post on the sanctuary’s website, “Those lucky enough to end up in an established sanctuary have to be supported by donations for the rest of their lives ….” Considering the fact that chimpanzees can live into their 50s, she estimates that “it could take millions of dollars to provide [lifelong] care for the actors that sold CareerBuilder to the public.” Wonder how much money CareerBuilder plans to spend on their care …

Fortunately, after pressure from PETA, at least 18 advertising agencies, including the top three U.S. agencies (McCann Erickson, BBDO, and Young & Rubicam), have agreed never to use great apes in their ads again. In an online editorial, Ad Age magazine supports the trend: “Over the past few years, you may have noticed fewer and fewer commercials featuring apes …. That’s a positive development, but the fact is there should be none. … It’s time to stop using them for the sake of selling product.”

Are you listening, CareerBuilder?

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Joseph Shaha says:

    Taking a child a way fro its parents is very cruel, I strongly feel that this was an fare and CareerBuilder should pay or Fund for the animals for everything the chips need for theire well being for the rest of their lives

  • Cynthia McNamara says:

    To Jane Sam: yes, we know that CareerBuilders is not “bowing to pressure”, nor are they bowing to any moral code. The god they bow to is conscience-less greed. They have made that painfully clear. This is a message that does not need elucidation, nor can it be defended. I am not an “animal rights activist,” but I am a thinking and morally aware human being. Sometime, that’s all it takes to call ’em like you see ’em. If CareerBuilders wants to stop hearing these protests, the obvious solution is for the company to stop the sinful, wasteful exploitation of endangered species. But, like a dog returning to its own vomit, CareerBuilders chooses again to knowingly defy logic and informed opinion.

  • Lisa K. Brubaker says:

    Please stop using Orangutans and Chimps in the media. I understand that a likeness of them both can be generated somehow with computer graphics, therefore not having to “use” the animals and basically throw them away. Sending them off to The Center for Great Apes to just be “done” with the animals, shows a lack of compassion for them and in the end, for humans as well. Please take into consideration not only how the animals could possibly suffer, but the expense involved in their upkeep after they are “retired”.

  • SBH Clay says:

    Bella, Ellie, Kodua and Mowgli are adorable. If those were the faces of human babies, no one would have dreamed of ripping them from their mothers, putting them in show business, making them effectively “slave” labor, and then dumping them like Hollywood has-beens when they got too big and strong. I’m grateful to the Center for Great Apes for making room for them, and to all the donors who support that beautiful sanctuary. Thanks, too, to Patti Ragan and her staff and volunteers. And thanks, PeTA, for persuading those ad agencies to cease and desist. Now it’s Career Builder’s turn to do the same. Pronto! Thank you if you can solve this problem. SBH Clay

  • Jane Sam says:

    Career Builders is not bowing to the pressure, they know all about it and chose to do it anyway and will continue to do it. They have already publicly stated they will not be forced into making decisions by others. I suggest you focus your attentions on actual animal cruelty at this point.

  • Alyona says:

    they have so smart eyes….poore babies…they need love and care from everyone.I wish I could help them in person.

  • Evelyn says:

    There is really NO real reson to disturb a baby chimp to take him away from its MOTHER! just for a STUPID ad. Humanity is nothing but ignorant EVIL with primative cage man animals themselfs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vineca Gray says:

    Congratulations for such a graceful story. There is progress, and sadly there is CareerBuilders…

  • Carla Zeigler says:

    With the advancement of graphic arts, ie Avatar, this is no longer a viable alternative. Please consider using new and really cute, funny and unreal primates. Thanks for thinking about this issue.

  • Rebecca Staniforth says:

    Please stop using Great Apes for adverts and pls avoid exploiting any living animals. With the massive popularity and quality of animation in today’s modern world i.e Shrek, Toy Story, Jungle Book both adults and children enjoy the fake version to the real version. thank you for caring. Kind regards Rebecca Staniforth