PETA Files Federal Complaint Over Groupon’s Deceptive Circus Promos

For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

Chicago – PETA has just today sent a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking the agency to investigate Groupon’s false—and therefore illegal—advertising claims. Although Groupon claims that the exhibitors it promotes “must have clean [U.S. Department of Agriculture] … inspection reports from at least the past 2 years,” Groupon has sold tickets to UniverSoul Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and G.W. Exotic, among other outfits, which feature chronic lawbreakers.

As PETA notes in its complaint, exhibitors with UniverSoul were cited in 2013 for, among other violations, failing to provide animals with veterinary care, endangering the public, and keeping big cats in transport cages without any exercise for 24 hours a day. Piccadilly Circus General Manager Zachary Garden’s many citations in 2012 and 2013 include leaving a ewe to suffer from a fractured leg and failing to handle a zebra properly, leading to the animal’s death. Elephant exhibitors with Piccadilly were warned and cited for beating an elephant named Kosti five times about the face and ears to “teach” her not to take another elephant’s hay. And the owner of G.W. Exotic—a roadside zoo in Oklahoma—is currently the subject of three U.S. Department of Agriculture investigations, including for the suspicious deaths of nearly two dozen tiger cubs on his property.

“Despite its claims to the contrary, Groupon is promoting circuses and roadside zoos that illegally beat elephants, lock tigers in cages 24/7, and deny animals everything that’s natural and important to them,” says PETA Foundation Deputy General Counsel Delcianna Winders. “PETA is asking the FTC to step in and stop Groupon from lying about these despicable promotions.”

Tomorrow, PETA members will gather outside Groupon’s annual meeting in Chicago to protest these deceptive deals.

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