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Victory! Retailer Pulls ‘Big Chimpin’ Video

Written by PETA | August 14, 2009
citypages / CC
Chimpanzee

They’re smart, playful, and ridiculously adorable—but they don’t belong in ads.

The hip swimwear and clothing company Bonobos has shown that it’s a champion for chimpanzees by pulling from its Web site a video that featured a chimpanzee cavorting in swim trunks.

Once Bonobos gave it some thought (maybe after its staff filled up on what must be their favorite brain food), it didn’t seem like such a great (ape) idea to support an industry that captures baby apes and keeps them isolated in cages. The company realized that ads making apes look cute and clownish misrepresent these wild animals, who often end up dumped in roadside zoos when they get too large and strong to manage.

Here’s what the company had to say:

“At the end of the day, we made Big Chimpin’ with the best intentions—but we were also a little naive, and we’re not afraid to say so. One of our missions as a company is to help out our friends in the Congo who are working so hard to improve the situation there, so in using a real chimp in our video, we were actually doing ourselves a disservice as well.”

And what brought about the company’s change of conscience? People like you!

“We thank everyone who wrote to us out of concern for Suzy’s safety and dignity. In the end, it’s because of your thoughtfulness and willingness to speak up that we learned so much!”

Three cheers to Bonobos! It’s one more company—like Sprint Nextel, Gap, and SEGA—that has realized that apes do not aspire to be models or actors (even if they do seem cuter and more intelligent than some former child stars).

Written by Heather Drennan

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  • Animallover says:

    Save the animals!!! I love the animals!!! WHy must they be treated badly??? SAVE THEM PETA YOUR OUR ONLY HOPE…

  • Randy says:

    I’m glad the company responded like that. For some reason this reminds me of what i was told that i could volunteer at PetLand or something for the community service for high school credit. I would never work there! I live in Chillicothe coincidently where PetLand is based. So I’d love to help protest or something but i dont think anyone is doing anything…

  • Edward says:

    I think that their response is too much. I mean what other companies have given such a response? They might have pulled the ad but why would they sugarcoat it so much? If you ask me it seems more like a marketing idea than a change of heart.

  • Julie says:

    I am so impressed with this companies response! I have written many companies that have exploited primates and this is the best response I’ve ever seen. I also appreciate that they posted information about the video being pulled on their website. Now everyone who visits their website knows that using primates in advertisements is wrong. Kudos to them!

  • Melissa says:

    This is amazing. Their response was wonderful. The fact they can admit they didn’t know and learned something is fantastic. Like Tabitha I never heard of this company either but I’ll be looking at their products and order from them next time I need something. Thank you Bonobos. You sound like a very caring company and it’s people like you who make me still have a little hope for humanity. Thank you for all the work you have done too PETA.

  • Robert says:

    I’d never heard of this company but am so impressed with their caring and thoughtful response I’m going to check them out for sure! Thank you PETA and thank you Bonobos! You now have a new costumer!

  • NT says:

    WOW! I have a lot of respect for a company that is willing to admit they made a mistake and take steps to make amends.

  • Tabitha says:

    hmmmmm….. I’ve actually never heard of this company….but suddenly have the urge to buy their products I am impressed!

  • natalie says:

    who wants to protest when vick comes to play vs the bears in chicago in nov? there is no reason he gets to be a celebrity again if he needs the money so bad he can work for the wwf there is no reason he needs to be famous

  • Robert says:

    I really am impressed by the response from this company. It sounded intelligent and dignified. It takes “big people” to say hey! we learned something. REALLY IMPRESSIVE!!

  • simara says:

    its victories like this that inspire me!!

  • Tamra says:

    This is just amazing and their response was awesome. PETA again thanks for all that you do. and yes i’ll send some money soon!

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