After SeaWorld Dustup, PETA Decides to Influence Billboard Company From the Inside
For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2020
David Perle 202-483-7382
Baton Rouge, La. – PETA is the newest stockholder in locally headquartered Lamar Advertising. This purchase entitles PETA to attend the company’s annual shareholder meeting, where representatives can speak directly to its CEO and push it to overturn its policy of blocking all PETA ads, no matter how benign, including ones reminding people to bring dogs indoors during sweltering-hot and freezing-cold temperatures—an essential message in the rural parts of North Carolina where PETA helps neglected “backyard dogs.”
Despite having had a long and previously positive relationship with PETA, in 2017, Lamar locked PETA ads out in order to appease SeaWorld, which objected to a provocative PETA billboard calling for the release of the orca Tilikum. Since then, the company’s corporate policy has been to refuse PETA ads about any animal welfare issue, and Tilikum died more than three years ago. PETA has repeatedly offered to work with Lamar to meet any guidelines but to no avail.
“Lamar Advertising placated SeaWorld at the expense of animals in need,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “We’re going directly to the CEO and to the company’s shareholders to fight for the opportunity to post our lifesaving billboards.”
Lamar has blocked PETA billboards blasting the Bandera Ham Rodeo in Texas and Texas A&M University’s muscular dystrophy experiments on dogs as well as an ad showing Oscar winner and PETA’s 2019 “Person of the Year” Joaquin Phoenix appearing with a chicken and the words “We Are All Animals. End Speciesism.”
A lack of Lamar billboards notwithstanding, PETA’s campaign against SeaWorld continues: Last week, PETA offered interim SeaWorld CEO Marc Swanson a quarter of a million dollars to help build a seaside sanctuary for the orcas and other dolphins in its beleaguered abusement parks, which have furloughed 90% of employees and are currently closed to visitors.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.