Anti-Wool Ad With Man Scratching Crotch Banned in Times Square—but Female Version Accepted

Does Response to PETA's #WoolFreeWinter Video Blitz Reveal a Double Standard?

For Immediate Release:
November 10, 2014

Shakira Croce, 202-483-7382

New York — – To launch its #WoolFreeWinter campaign in Times Square, PETA is embracing a trend in which advertisers focus not only on attractive models but also on their crotches. Adweek‘s “Crotches Are King” study reveals 67 percent more engagement for such ads, especially if the subject is male.

So PETA produced two 15-second video billboards, one with a man and the other with a woman, showing a close-up of the models in suggestively open long johns itching their groins, with the slogan “Scratch Wool From Your Shopping List.” The ad directs viewers to to watch a video showing how sheep are cut to shreds, kicked, and punched by shearers in the wool trade. But the male version of the ad was deemed too racy by the ad company, Neutron Media.

The banned male version will appear on PETA’s website, which draws more than 5 million viewers each month. The female version will run every hour on huge screens above 42nd Street and at 1500 Broadway from November to January, reaching the throngs who gather at Times Square for the Thanksgiving parade and the New Year’s Eve celebration during the busiest shopping season of the year.

“PETA routinely uses both men and women in sexy ads advocating for animal rights,” says PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews. “It was especially important in this campaign, as wool is marketed to both men and women who have no idea how violently sheep are mutilated in the shearing process.”

PETA may be the first charity to go “below the belt” in ads, but products ranging from Doritos to fragrances for Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs already lure consumers with this tactic.

Broadcast-quality links to the new PETA ads and to the shearing process are available upon request.

For information about helping animals, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind