Wieden+Kennedy Bags PETA Award for Old Spice Ad’s CGI Gorillas

Ad Agency and Personal-Care Company Praised for Commercials That Spare Wild Animals Distress

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2017

David Perle 202-483-7382

Portland, Ore. – Real animals used in commercials are often scared, confused, and even physically harmed, but in “Jungle Hero,” Old Spice‘s latest ad campaign—in which the brand’s Legendary Man learns to communicate with gorillas—the animals are portrayed via realistic computer-generated imagery (CGI), a move that has prompted PETA to present both Old Spice and Portland-based ad agency Wieden+Kennedy with its Compassionate Company Award.

“As people learn that great apes are taken from their mothers and beaten to perform, top ad agencies have replaced live gorillas and chimpanzees with state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is recognizing Old Spice and Wieden+Kennedy for proving that the most buzzworthy ads use cutting-edge technology instead of captive animals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—notes that great ape “actors” are removed from their highly protective mothers shortly after birth, which causes lasting psychological damage, and that physical abuse of the animals during training is standard practice. After a few short years as “actors,” apes become too strong to control, and most are discarded at roadside zoos and other substandard facilities.

The top 10 ad agencies in the U.S.—along with numerous major brands, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co., and many others—have all pledged not to use great apes in their ads.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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