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Action Alert! Tell Geico to return to the gecko


17 February 2016 General News

Action alert from Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

After the Super Bowl, a commercial from Geico began airing that included a short clip of a chimpanzee. Several Eyes on Apes activists alerted us to this new ad - thank you!

Geico no

When we are alerted to the presence of nonhuman apes in entertainment, we reach out to the company or director prior to sending out action alerts. This allows them the opportunity to address the issue before it is more public. We sent an email to some of the top decision makers at Geico, and last week we received a response from a public relations representative. This communication confirmed that the footage of the chimpanzee in the commercial was filmed on set specifically for the Geico ad.

The public relations agent also included a letter from the American Humane Association's National Director of the No Animals Were Harmed Program, who is a veterinarian. This is the program that provides the no animals were harmed "seal of approval" that you see in movies and television programs. We've known for a long time that this approval means very little. For more information about why this approval does not protect animals on set or provide useful information about their treatment, see the Eyes on Apes page about the AHA.

The letter that Geico sent from the AHA provided further evidence that the AHA seal of approval is meaningless - in the letter, the chimpanzee used in the Geico commercial is misidentified as a monkey (see below)!

AHA letter

 

This is quite shocking that an organization tasked with evaluating the treatment of animals, employing veterinary professionals, did not seem to know what species of animal they were observing.

We all know that chimpanzees simply do not belong in entertainment, and we need your help to encourage Geico to look further into this issue and remove the chimpanzee from the ad. Considering Geico's iconic computer animated gecko, it's very disappointing that they chose to use a live chimpanzee.

There are two ways that you can help now:

1. Send a letter (see below) to Geico about your concerns.

2. If you use Geico as your insurance company, now is the time to research alternatives and let the company know that you will be switching providers unless the chimpanzee is taken out of the ad (and be sure to follow through with this - there are other insurance companies to choose from, and you can probably find one you like better).

Your letters and actions make a difference!

We've set up a sample letter below which you can customize as you wish. You can also post on Geico's Facebook page and/or send them a tweet.

 
"I was so disappointed to learn that Geico used a chimpanzee in a new television commercial. Non-human ape "actors" are torn away from their mothers as infants, often repeatedly beaten during training, and then discarded when they become too strong to be managed. Trainers like the one you worked with have a history of dumping former non-human ape actors at facilities with deplorable conditions http://www.eyesonapes.org/apes_in_entertainment/trainers/" 

Christine Tasher

Geico, Public Relations
Email:

Tony Nicely

Geico, CEO
Email:
 

Thank you for speaking up for apes in need! 
Please visit our website for more ways to help at EyesOnApes.org and learn about sanctuary life for deserving chimpanzees at ChimpsNW.org.

 

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