Animal Activists Bark at Skechers Over Super Bowl Spot

Charges of cruelty in dog racing

Skechers' 2012 Super Bowl commercial is drawing fire and calls for brand boycotts, weeks before it airs in the Feb. 5 game. The ad features Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, which in itself merits a protest. But at least Kim Kardashian (who guided Skechers' 2011 commercial to a 48th-place finish, out of 61, in USA Today's Super Bowl AdMeter) won't be back this year. That's worth celebrating. But it turns out human talent's not the issue. The problem hinges on Tucson Greyhound Park, the Arizona dog track where the ad was filmed. Christine Dorchak, president of greyhound advocacy group Grey2K, claims the dogs were mistreated and kept in tiny cages. She tells USA Today: "That the ad is running during the most heavily watched sporting event of the year suggests that greyhound racing is a sport. It is not. It is greyhound cruelty." Track CEO Tom Taylor denies such accusations. "Animal activists would like the cages to be 12 feet by 12 feet, with couches and TVs," he quips. Skechers maintains it doesn't endorse dog racing, adding that Grey2K should wait until the ad runs before passing judgment. Meanwhile, the American Humane Society was reportedly on set during filming and has said that "no animal was harmed in the making of this commercial." The spot features a French bulldog named Mr. Quiggly, who wears the brand's new GOrun shoes as he competes against a pack of greyhounds. How ironic for Skechers: They bounce booty-full Kim for a bowser and get bitten in the rear.