CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago-based CareerBuilder returned to their theme of chimpanzee co-workers in their latest Super Bowl commercial, and some animal rights activists are none too pleased.
In the latest commercial, a man is seen parking his car in an employee lot. One out-of-date car full of chimpanzees parks too close on his driver’s side, while the other parks so close on the passenger’s side as to damage his car as the chimpanzees run over its roof.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals objects to the ad because chimpanzees appear in it. The group launched a campaign in which supporters changed their profile pictures to chimpanzee avatars, and posted comments on the CareerBuilder Facebook page protesting the ad.
In addition, four PETA supporters planned to show up to in person Tuesday to the lobby of the Chicago headquarters of CareerBuilder, at 200 N. LaSalle St. PETA said the protesters would wear chimpanzee masks and hold signs.
PETA says CareerBuilder continues using chimpanzees in its ads “despite the fact that the chimpanzees are stolen from their mothers as babies, threatened and beaten to make them perform, and shoved into small, filthy cages when they aren’t out earning money for their trainers.”
But CareerBuilder has its own statement, attached to the video for the new commercial, saying they unequivocally support the fair and humane treatment of 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,” CareerBuilder said. “We hired top trainers known to provide the highest standard of care for their animals.”
A representative of the American Humane Association was also present for the taping, according to CareerBuilder.
“This was very important to us, and we thought you might want to know,” CareerBuilder says in the statement.
Some other ad agencies have sworn off using apes in their commercials. Dodge removed a chimpanzee from its “tent event” commercials, and canceled print ads featuring a chimpanzee, over the summer last year, the Chicago Tribune reported in December.