U.S.: Tell CareerBuilder to Stop Using Chimpanzees in Advertising!

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    • Matthew W. Ferguson

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Tell CareerBuilder to Stop Using Chimpanzees in Advertising!

Dear [Decision Maker],

Chimpanzees are an endangered species. Their habitat is being destroyed. They are slaughtered for the bush meat trade. Entire colonies are often killed to obtain infants for sale as pets or for use in entertainment. While the importation of wild-caught animals is illegal in the U.S. and throughout the world, there is a thriving black market for these animals as the demand for them continues.

When CareerBuilder made its decision to use chimpanzees in its ads, did it consider the plight of these animals in the wild? Conservation efforts have been hampered by the continued exploitation of chimpanzees in the U.S. for use in research, as pets, and in the entertainment industry. The use of chimpanzees in advertising and in the movies gives a perception that chimpanzees are abundant, fun-loving, and most of all protected. None of this is true.

The use of chimpanzees by the entertainment industry not only undermines the conservation of animals, but also subjects the animals to a lifetime of mistreatment, starting with early withdrawal from their mothers, and including many documented instances of abuse towards juvenile and adult animals to ensure that they perform as demanded. While abuse may not have occurred during the filming of the CareerBuilder commercial, as per the approval of the American Humane Association, that does not mean that there is no abuse occurring in preparing the animals for their on-screen "antics." Three of the chimpanzees used by CareerBuilder in the past have now been retired to the Center for Great Apes in Florida, a sanctuary where they can live out the balance of their lives without further exploitation.

According to a petition recently filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, requesting an upgrade of captive chimpanzees from threatened to endangered status, "The use of chimpanzees for entertainment purposes negatively impacts the species, regardless of whether the individual chimpanzee featured is bred in captivity or smuggled out of the wild. Multiple studies confirm that when people see chimpanzees portrayed in these unnatural entertainment depictions they acquire misperceptions of the species that undermine legitimate conservation efforts by fueling demand for pet chimpanzees and reinforcing negative conservation attitudes."

Is CareerBuilder's desire to use chimpanzees in its ads a fair trade for further imperiling an endangered species? I challenge you to use your marketing skills to develop a truly effective ad campaign that places no individual or species at risk.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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