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Dodge Ad Sarcastically Edited to Comply with PETA's Demands

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In a television ad, there are three things a car manufacturer can rely on to grab the male buyer's attention: sex, speed, and monkeys. To showcase its annual Dodge tent event, Chrysler chose the latter. Narrated by Dexter's Michael C. Hall, the ad focused on its promotion for the Charger, Journey, and Grand Caravan lines and punctuated the sales pitch with a small chimp dressed as Evel Kneivel operating a detonator.

"This event could not be more amazing," Hall says. "Oh wait, there's a monkey. I stand corrected."

Although the TV spot would bring a smile to most, perennial busybodies at PETA thought otherwise. The group's primatologist, Julia Gallucci, released a statement:

Most top ad agencies in the country won't even consider producing an ad featuring a great ape these days given the well-documented abuse that young chimpanzees and orangutans suffer in the entertainment industry. This abuse starts when they are prematurely removed from their mothers and continues when they are trained to perform through savage beatings, denied even the most basic necessities, transported and housed in barren steel cages, and then discarded at seedy roadside zoos around the age of 8, even though they can live into their 60s. You won't find a great-ape trainer without a history of Animal Welfare Act violations and a reputation for dumping animals when they're no longer profitable. After watching a video narrated by Anjelica Huston about the use of great apes in entertainment, savvy ad agencies such as BBDO, Young & Rubicam, Grey Group, Draftfcb, and Saatchi & Saatchi made the compassionate decision not to exploit great apes in future ads. Dodge isn't going to dodge a bullet on this one. It needs to pull the ad -- and we've contacted the company asking it to do just that. 

Rather than face the brunt of PETA's aggressive ire, Dodge complied to the non-profit's demands and removed the monkey from the ad. But like a nine-year-old smart aleck who's told by his mother to not move an inch, compliance was done in a smirking literal sense.

The digitally-altered second version keeps the scene intact except for the chimp's empty jumpsuit waddling over to the detonator. The chimp is removed but the jumpsuit remains. Hall's narration was changed to say, "Oh wait, there's an invisible monkey. I stand corrected."

So what appears to be a silly joke at face value, the back story makes for a small victory for those who find PETA's behavior particularly egregious.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.