Victory! Hallmark Ends Sales of ‘Grinning Chimpanzee’ Cards Following Push From PETA

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2024

David Perle 202-483-7382

Kansas City, Mo.

Following a PETA campaign, Hallmark, the world’s largest greeting card company, has stopped producing and selling cards featuring unnatural and degrading images of chimpanzee infants taken away from their mothers—depictions that are known to hinder conservation efforts. The action comes after the group held lively demonstrations near the company’s headquarters, ran creative ads, and enlisted the help of celebrities, including Judy Greer, to write heartfelt letters—and PETA supporters sent tens of thousands of e-mails to the card company, which also faced pressure from drugstores that had stopped selling these cards. Hallmark was the last major card manufacturer still selling cards with exploitative images of great apes.

Person holding a megaphone and holding a protest sign
A PETA supporter protests Hallmark’s use of chimpanzee imagery at a demonstration outside a Hallmark store in Kansas City. Credit: PETA

PETA notes that clownish images of chimpanzees dressed in costumes and displaying a fear grimace, which the public is fooled into mistaking for a grin, impede conservation efforts by leading consumers to believe that the species is thriving rather than endangered and may drive the black-market demand for the animals as “pets”—one of the main threats to wild populations.

Hallmark’s decision to stop mocking endangered great apes acknowledges that portrayals hold power, and for chimpanzees threatened with extinction, it can be a matter of life or death,” says primatologist and PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “PETA is celebrating this victory for chimpanzees, who should never be exploited as models or props.”

 Hallmark joins other card companies, including American Greetings; major retailers, such as CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, and Walmart; and stock-image agencies, such as Dreamstime and Shutterstock, in banning the harmful depictions.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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