As predicted, CareerBuilder's decision to use live chimps in its Super Bowl spot has provoked an outcry. Anjelica Huston, writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has fired off a letter to CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson asking the company to cease use of the great apes in advertising.
CareerBuilder is one of the few national advertisers to continue using apes in commercials as other marketers and agencies have sworn off the practice. The company, undoubtedly expecting criticism, told Forbes earlier this week:
"CareerBuilder supports the fair and humane treatment of all animals. During the production of our ad, we followed the strictest guidelines to ensure our chimpanzee stars were treated well and not harmed in any way. We hired top trainers known to provide the highest standard of care for their animals. We also had a member of an animal-rights group, the American Humane Association, on set during the entire filming to ensure the chimpanzees were treated with respect. This was very important to us."But PETA and Huston have heard that one before. In her letter, Huston specifically addresses that point.
"Having a monitor on the set does not forgive the fact that you have paid to have these bright and social young apes torn from their mothers and subjected to confusing and often abusive training. These animals will likely be sold after a few years to some cheap roadside zoo or traveling show, where they will be condemned to cramped cages, left to suffer from extreme loneliness and sink into despair. And for what? It is astonishing that you are unmoved by the videos, photographs, and case reports of what befalls these animals from the moment they are taken from their mothers to the moment they die. May I remind you of this brief video that I made for PETA?"Here is the video Huston refers to: