Volkswagen Withdraws Super Bowl Teaser Ad Featuring Monkey

After PETA Plea, Company Agrees to No More Primates in Ads

For Immediate Release:
February 13, 2014

Shakira Croce 202-483-7382

Washington – After learning from PETA about how monkeys and other primates used as “actors” are torn away from their mothers and denied everything that’s natural and important to them, Volkswagen of America immediately agreed to pull a new ad—featuring a capuchin monkey—that was used as a teaser for the company’s Super Bowl ad and pledged not to use primates again in its advertisements.

“PETA signaled Volkswagen to stop using primates, and the company immediately put the brakes on any ads that could cause cruelty to monkeys used and abused for entertainment,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “Volkswagen’s decision is kind and savvy, because today’s consumers want nothing to do with an industry that tears primates from their mothers’ arms and cages them for life.”

Most monkeys used for entertainment are sold as infants by animal breeders and dealers, who typically remove the babies from their mothers prematurely—a practice that is cruel to the baby and the mother and denies the infants the maternal care and nurturing that they need. In addition, research reveals that productions featuring monkeys are driving the demand for these animals as exotic “pets.” Very few people who acquire monkeys as “pets” can meet their extremely specialized needs, and as the monkeys acquired as cute babies grow into adulthood—and inevitably become dangerous and unmanageable—the novelty quickly wanes. Many monkeys languish in cramped cages in backyards, basements, or garages.

Volkswagen joins a growing number of companies—including Capital One, Burger King, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Bridgestone—that have banned the use of monkeys and other primates in their ads. And each of the top 10 ad agencies in the U.S.—including Young & Rubicam, BBDO, and JWT—have banned the use of great apes in their ads.

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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