Chicago Sun-Times
Lewis Lazare follows Chicago media and marketing news

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CareerBuilderSit-In.jpgFirst the Lincoln Park Zoo sounded the alarm Monday concerning's decision to use chimpanzees in its Super Bowl TV spot Sunday. Zoo officials said putting chimps in commercials makes the public think chimps aren't an endangered species, when, in fact, they are.

Now PETA, an animal rights organization that knows a public relations opportunity when it sees one, also made the focus of a sit-in Tuesday to protest the use of chimps in the commercial.

Four PETA supporters wearing chimp masks and holding protest signs occupied the lobby of's LaSalle Street headquarters to bring attention to what the organization asserts are the "abuses suffered by great apes used as 'actors'." To buttress its claims that chimps suffer while being trained as actors, PETA referenced an unnamed primatologist who reportedly spent 14 months working at a California facility that trained great apes for the TV and movie industries. That source allegedly observed trainers kicking, punching and beating baby chimpanzees in order to make them obedient.

Sunday's Super Bowl ad wasn't the first Super Bowl effort to feature chimps. Ads the company ran in 2005 and 2006 also used chimps.



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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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