HolyCoast: Zoo to CareerBuilder.com: No More Monkey Business!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Zoo to CareerBuilder.com: No More Monkey Business!

Chimps in business attire are stirring up a reaction from a Chicago zoo:
A Chicago zoo is mounting a campaign to stop a company from airing a Super Bowl Sunday commercial featuring mischievous suit-and-tie wearing chimpanzees playing tricks on their human co-worker, saying all that monkey business proves deadly for the endangered species.

Lincoln Park Zoo officials fear images of the frolicking chimps broadcast worldwide do little to help conservation efforts, inaccurately portraying the animals as unthreatened and even as cuddly and harmless pets.

"If people see them that way they are less likely to try and conserve them," Stephen Ross, assistant director of the zoo's Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, said of the commercial that shows chimps laughing at a 'Kick Me" sign on the human. "Individual chimps are being harmed and wild populations are being harmed by this frivolous use of an endangered species."

Ross said he and other animal welfare advocates have been complaining to CareerBuilder.com ever since the company started using chimps in Super Bowl commercials in 2005. But this year is different because he's armed with a Duke University study that he says supports his longtime claims: Commercialized chimps dressed as people — even when running up big banana daiquiri bar tabs — makes viewers less concerned about the plight of wild chimps.
I disagree. I couldn't possibly be less concerned about the plight of wild chimps. But that's just me.

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