Chimpanzees and orangutans (also known as great apes) who are used as “actors” are often removed from their mothers shortly after birth. This causes irreparable psychological harm to the infants, who, in natural conditions, are dependent upon their mothers for several years. Learn more here.
Baby apes are curious, active, and rambunctious animals with short attention spans, and physically abusive training methods may be used to ensure that they’ll perform on cue. When they reach adolescence, around 7 or 8 years old, they become too strong and dangerous to handle, and trainers typically discard them in order to make room for new babies.
Chimpanzees can live into their 60s, and orangutans live into their 50s, so after their short “careers” in Hollywood, many languish for decades in roadside zoos or other substandard facilities, sometimes in solitary confinement.
Chimpanzees and orangutans are both endangered species. Recent research has shown that the inaccurate portrayal of apes in the media seriously hinders conservation efforts and increases the demand for these dangerous animals as pets.
After learning about the cruelty inherent in using apes as actors, numerous top ad agencies—including McCann Worldgroup, Young & Rubicam, BBDO Worldwide, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, Leo Burnett Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, Grey Global Group, Saatchi & Saatchi, and others—banned the use of great apes in their ads.
How can you help?
Take the Great Ape Humane Pledge, and join the growing list of brands, ad agencies and production companies that have chosen to leave great apes out of their advertising: