BBDO Tries Tech to Stop Ad Men From Casting Monkeys

Part of its Great Ape Pledge With People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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To support its recent commitment to the Great Ape Pledge from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, BBDO New York has installed an auto-correct program on all of its computers to remind creatives and others not to use these animals in videos and films. It also created a video explaining why the Great Ape Pledge is important.

PETA's Great Ape Pledge was created to stop the use of monkeys, apes, baboons and chimps in advertising, informing advertisers and agencies about the harmful treatment of these animals to force them to perform. BBDO took the pledge, said David Lubars, chairman-chief creative officer of BBDO North America, in a statement to the staff, "because in order to train great apes, they have to be taken from their mothers shortly after birth, causing irreparable psychological harm to both. Further, the training is violent and their lives end up being bad. It's plain wrong."

Now, when any BBDO staffer types words such as "monkey" or "ape," the computer automatically finishes the sentence with: "who was taken from his mother when only weeks old to act in front of the camera. During his training, the ape will be kicked, punched, and beaten to perform what you are just about to write. Don't let it happen: http://www.NoMonkeyBusinessOn.Tv."

"A great place to educate advertisers and agencies about the harm done to these animals is when a concept is first being born, at the script phase," Lubars said, adding, "We're hopeful that other agencies will follow our lead and install a similar auto correct program on their computers."

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