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Super Bowl commercials: What happens to those CareerBuilder chimps?

They're not monkeys. They're chimpanzees with short working lives in entertainment, after which they can't be returned to zoos or the wild. Lucky ones end up in sanctuaries, needing care for the next 40 years. Major ad agencies have pledged not to use great apes. Why won't CareerBuilder?

About these ads

CareerBuilder released their newest advertisement this weekend during the Super Bowl – a parking lot scene with a frustrated employee surrounded by bumbling colleagues (played by chimpanzees). Like many Super Bowl commercials, the 30-second spot has generated plenty of post-game buzz rating its cleverness, humor, and impact. But this ad has also brought on plenty of outrage, and rightly so.

Even before the commercial aired, thousands of people (and several animal welfare groups) concerned about the use and exploitation of chimpanzees for TV commercials wrote and signed petitions and voiced their opposition to the company.

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I have a special interest in this situation. The chimpanzee youngsters (Ellie, Mowgli, Bella, and Koda) used in CareerBuilder’s first round of comic commercials shown during the 2005 Super Bowl, Emmy Awards, and Academy Awards were retired from acting and are all here now at the Center for Great Apes, as rescued primates needing sanctuary care for the rest of their lives – some 40 years or more.

What happens after short working life?


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