Is there such a thing? In this age where swathes of people seem to take offense at almost anything, I’ve decided to rouse the bee in my own bonnet and talk about the exploitation of primates in advertising
When I was young, we had hugely popular TV ads with chimpanzees advertising a popular brand of tea. They were voiced by actors and were shown in a variety of comical situations – the most popular of which was probably the one in which they are removal men (removal monkeys), trying to get a piano down some stairs.
We now know that training the chimps for their roles took a huge toll on them and ruined their ability to interact properly with their own kind. So, we don’t use chimps in ads anymore, and that’s a jolly good thing. But, our simian cousins are still the lazy ‘go to’ for unimaginative advertisers. I saw this ad on the train the other evening – an orangutan selling audio books.
I’m not suggesting that any orangs were harmed in the making of the ad – it’s probably just a photoshopped or computer generated. But I’ve chosen to take offense at the exploitation of monkeys (or are they apes?) and to make a plea that we don’t go back to the 1970s and those awful days of exploitative monkeyism?
Anyone for a #MonkeyToo movement?