After urging from animal advocates, car manufacturer Volkswagen has announced that it will stop using primates in its advertising, and has pulled a Super Bowl teaser clip containing a capuchin monkey from several online platforms. Volkswagen isn't the first company to go primate-free. PETA's campaign has resulted in pledges not to use primates from BBDO, Bridgestone, Burger King, Capital One, Johnson & Johnson, JWT, Pfizer and Y&R.
The move has been applauded by animal activists from PETA, who led the charge and says that using primates in entertainment is cruel and often requires separating mothers from their babies.
"Volkswagen has had a longstanding commitment of respecting and ensuring the safety and well-being of all animals and primates in our advertisements," a statement from Volkswagen of America said. "Upon learning about the recent issues surrounding the treatment of primates, VW immediately removed one of its teaser ads out of respect for the concern for primate treatment."
The clip, which was uploaded on Jan. 21, was meant as a teaser for the company's Super Bowl ad that ultimately did not contain any primates. Instead the ad was filled with Super Bowl commercial stereotypes -- Abraham Lincoln, models in bathing suits, pirates, showgirls, babies and puppies. The capuchin appeared at the end of the clip for about three seconds.
"PETA signaled Volkswagen to stop using primates, and the company immediately put the brakes on any ads that could cause cruelty to monkeys used and abused for entertainment," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Volkswagen's decision is kind and savvy, because today's consumers want nothing to do with an industry that tears primates from their mothers' arms and cages them for life."