JP Morgan Chase is ending an ad campaign that featured elephants after learning about elephant tourism and the abuse the animals endure. Both the bank and animal rights organization PETA announced the end to the campaign on Friday. Chase has committed to not using elephants or wild animals in its ads moving forward.
The 30-second spot featured an older couple who took a volunteer trip overseas. Clips of the couple chatting with their Chase financial advisor are interspersed with video of their trip, which included bathing an elephant. The ad was meant to highlight Chase’s personal financial advisors, but PETA says that elephants trotted out for tourists are often abused.
“Elephants used in bathing and other encounters are beaten and frequently kept chained once the tourists leave, and they’re controlled through the constant threat of punishment,” said Tracy Reiman, executive vice president at PETA, in a statement.
According to a PETA spokesperson, the organization first reached out to Chase Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Lemkau about the ads on May 21. Reiman said the bank worked quickly to drop the campaign.
“While we took great care in the filming, we learned more about the other side of elephant tourism and have ended the ad campaign,” says a Chase spokesman.
PETA says other marketers, including Levi Strauss & Co., Johnson & Johnson and Bridgestone, as well as ad agency Young & Rubicam, which has since merged into VMLY&R, have made similar pledges to never use wild animals in advertisements.