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Chimpanzees in Entertainment

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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.


Capital One

2011
Capital One

Capital One, a U.S. based bank and credit card company, first used chimpanzee "actors" in their 2002 "monkey on your back" commercials. In early 2011, they aired a new commercial starring actor Jerry Stiller and a chimpanzee "actor".

After pressure from various organizations, Capital One decided to pull the advertisement and has now pledged not to use any non-human primates in any of their future ad campaigns (see list of pledged non-users).


Chevrolet Volt

2011
Chevrolet Volt

In a commercial produced by American ad agency William Morris Endeavor, Chevy used a chimpanzee "actor" to advertise their hybrid electric Volt. The young chimp plugs in the car, advertising the vehical's slogan "An American Evolution".


Pfizer: Robitussin Relief Finder

Nov 2010
Pfizer: Robitussin Relief Finder

This ad for the pharmaceutical company's cold-relief medication  featured an orangutan "actor" using Robitussin Relief Finder.

After pressure from animal welfare organizations, the company replaced the orangutan with a computer-generated ape resembling a chimpanzee. Pfizer has since pledged not to use live apes in any future advertisements (see list of pledged non-users).


Dodge Tent Event

Jul 2010
Dodge Tent Event

In this television advertisement that first aired in July 2010, a young clothed chimpanzee detonates a small explosion of glitter in celebration of Dodge's "Tent Event."  The American car manufacturer used chimpanzees in a previous campaign in 2003.

In a recent letter to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Dodge's CEO apologized for the advertisement and agreed to remove the chimpanzee segment from the video and pull future print ads featuring the chimpanzee.  They have since pledged to never use great apes in their advertising ever again (see list of pledged non-users).


Whatcome Educational Credit Union

Jul 2010
Whatcome Educational Credit Union

Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) used an advertising campaign featuring a baby orangutan and a young chimpanzee promoting WECU’s home loans over other “monkey” businesses. These ads were featured in posters inside the banks as well as WECU’s website.

Because of the large amount of feedback that WECU received, the bank decided to pull the ad campaign. They have already removed their web ads and are in the process of getting replacement posters that do not feature photographs of entertainment apes.


Europcar

Jun 2010
Europcar

This European car rental advertisement features a young female chimpanzee named Suzy from Steve Martin's Working Wildlife (California).

The tv commercial depicts a computer-literate chimpanzee and a frustrated scientist, who is too late to witness his ‘student’ exit his play pen and use the computer.

In a letter dated June 25, 2010, Europcar pledged to discontinue airing the advertisement.


Travelers Insurance: Watering Hole

Jun 2010
Travelers Insurance: Watering Hole

A commercial for this U.S. insurance company features an assortment of wild animals including a young chimpanzee riding on the back of an alligator.

After receiving a letter of concern from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Project ChimpCARE, Travelers Insurance communicated that they would be modifying their advertisement to remove the portrayal of the chimpanzee.


Fyffes Bananas

2010
Fyffes Bananas

In this short television advertisement, a chimpanzee (portrayed as living in a zoo setting) is tossed a "generic" brand of banana.  He tosses it back, apparently in favor of the Fyffes brand.

Fyffes is an Ireland-based produce distributor and considered among the largest in the world.


Christian's Mattress Xpress

2010
Christian's Mattress Xpress

Christian's Mattress Xpress (a mattress company based near Fresno, California) plans to run an advertising compaign featuring a young chimpanzee named Kenzy. Kenzy was provided by exhibitor and trainer Mike Casey.