Goodbye, Mr. Chimp

Pumabetterflies2_1Well, at least the butterflies (and ants) are still free to roam the TV airwaves in Puma’s "New Stuff" ad campaign. (See item with adorable chimp picture below.)

However, we’ve received word—actually we checked out the Web site for London’s Guardian—that the athletic footwear company has now pulled the 30-second spot featuring a baby chimp after even more concerns were raised by animal activists including famed naturalist Dr. Jane Goodall.

It took Goodall’s clout—along with protests from about 30 animal-rights groups—to get the ad pulled, according to the story (we’ll link to it, but be forewarned, you have to register). "Chimpanzees and other apes suffer horribly for society’s entertainment," said Goodall, who has spent nearly a half-century studying chimpanzees in Tanzania and has written widely about the plight of the highly endangered great ape. "It is time to move beyond the misuse of creatures who are vulnerable to our exploitation precisely because they are so like us."

UPDATE: Strangely, the ban doesn’t apply to North America. Said Barney Waters, director of marketing, Puma North America, "Puma North America is continuing with our scheduled media plan for the ‘New Stuff’ campaign which includes the simultaneous rotation of three TV spots … The broadcast will conclude as planned on December 31.  The airing of these executions can vary from country to country according to the different product offerings in each market."

Puma said there was no mistreatment of the chimp.

—Posted by Lisa van der Pool