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Chimpanzees in Entertainment

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Wright Vision Center

Sep 19, 2014
Wright Vision Center

Wright Vision Center, an ophthalmology and optometry center in Rapid City, South Dakota, aired a commercial featuring a young chimpanzee "actor" wearing clothing and glasses, advertising their surgical vision correction services.


Great Clips

Dec 19, 2012
Great Clips

Great Clips hair salon, whose franchise is found across the US and Canada, aired a commercial in December 2012, advertising their clip notes service. The ad features Billy, a chimpanzee "actor" owned by Steve Martin of Steve Martin's Working Wildlife. In the ad, he is referred to as "monkey" and drives a small car to deliver a note to a group of golfers. Billy has appeared in several advertisements, both on TV and online, including those for Career Builder, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and A&E's Storage Wars, as well as a Steven Tyler music video.

After pressure from animal welfare organizations and advocates, Great Clips has decided it will be pulling the advertisement (date not yet confirmed) and has now pledged not to use great apes in any future ad campaigns. (see list of pledged non-users).


The Ticket Clinic

Nov 2012
The Ticket Clinic

The Ticket Clinic, a Florida law firm specializing in traffic violations, launched two commercials produced by Pirates for Parties production company in late 2012, featuring a young chimpanzee dressed as a lawyer. In both ads the chimp poses with lawyer and Ticket Clinic founder Mark Gold, who tells ticketed drivers, "Don't monkey around with your driver's license."


Steak 'n Shake

Oct 10, 2012
Steak 'n Shake

In the third commercial in the restaurant's "Daydream" series, a Steak 'n Shake customer eats a burger as he daydreams of a James Bond-type fantasy. He sees himself fencing with ninjas and being waited on by a tuxedo-wearing chimpanzee with whom he rides snow mobiles.


Super Home Surplus

Sep 26, 2012
Super Home Surplus

Super Home Surplus, a home improvement store located in Tennessee and Kentucky, aired a TV commercial in late 2012, which is also featured on their website. In the ad, a chimpanzee dressed in business attire and referred to as "the new boss" sits behind a desk, as a voice-over shouts orders to employees, including the line "Zero monkey business in here."


Storage Wars

May 14, 2012
Storage Wars

Storage Wars, an A&E TV series, aired a commercial promoting the premiere of their third season.  This commercial features Billy, a five-year-old chimpanzee who also was in the Career Builder's Super Bowl commercial, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and a Steven Tyler music video.


Trop50

Apr 10, 2012
Trop50

Tropicana introduces their knew line of juices called Trop50, with actress Jane Krakowski and chimpanzee Chance wearing a cowboy outfit.

Tropicana decided to discontinue the ad after hearing from those concerned with the practice of using apes in entertainment.


Polk Audio SurroundBar

Jan 2012
Polk Audio SurroundBar

Polk Audio is a manufacturer of audio products best known for their home and automobile speakers. In this commercial a young chimpanzee "actor" dressed in jeans and a button-up top demonstrates how easy it is to install the Surroundbar 3000 IHT.


Tire Engineers

Oct 25, 2011
Tire Engineers

In 2011, Tire Engineers launched a tv ad with the campaign "Dont Monkey Around," and featured a live chimpanzee "actor" wearing a mechanic uniform and in an anthropomorphic setting.


CareerBuilder

Feb 16, 2011
CareerBuilder

CareerBuilder first start using chimpanzee "actors" in their advertisements in 2005 and 2006. This advertisement campaign was ended in 2007 after CareerBuilder faced pressure from a variety of activist groups, although CareerBuilder denied the influence of these groups in the decision to pull the advertisements.

In 2011, CareerBuilder decided to revive their old campaign and a new commercial featuring chimpanzee "actors" aired during Super Bowl XLV. Again, a variety of activist groups put pressure on the company to pull the commercial, but CareerBuilder did not respond to requests to discuss the issue.

The chimpanzee "actors" featured in the commercial are owned by Steve Martin of Steve Martin's Working Wildlife.

In 2012, CareerBuilder produced yet another commercial featuring chimpanzee "actors," which aired during Super Bowl XLVI.  Again, a variety of activist groups put pressure on the company to pull the commercial, but CareerBuilder did not respond to requests to discuss the issue.