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21 October 2010
The campaign request from Animal Defenders International (ADI) for a coffee supplier to 'wake up and smell the coffee' with their use of 16 primates in a current TV advertisement continues to gather momentum.
Jan Creamer, ADI's chief executive said that they had been encouraged by public support, and that several appalled individuals had followed ADI's lead and also pledged to boycott Costa Coffee.
"As soon as we found out about the proposed ad we contacted the coffee company to clearly outline how we felt about the situation and also liaised with our supporters to inform them and encourage a boycott," Jan said.
"From initial feedback received it is abundantly clear that we are not alone in the condemnation of the exploitation of primates in advertising and clearly this company has committed a faux pas.
"The use of wild animals in advertisements has never been acceptable and more and more companies have realised this and wouldn't dream of using them - there are plenty of alternatives, including computer-generated images," Jan said.
The next stage of ADI's campaign will see the distribution of postcards to supporters for dispatch to their local coffee shop branch and Head Office to keep up the pressure and clearly explain why the supplier has got it so wrong, with the ultimate aim being to ensure that they never use primates in their advertisements again.
ADI is confident that the coffee company's customer relations department will have been inundated with complaints over the last few weeks and now, with one more month remaining for broadcast of the advert, Animal Defenders International is ramping up activity.
To ultimately prove the point that the use of primates in advertisements is clear exploitation and cruelty, ADI was saddened to learn this week of the death of Jilloch the chimpanzee, used extensively by a tea manufacturer in their advertising campaigns in the eighties, who died from heart failure aged 34 years, at half the normal life expectancy of her species.
Jan said: "ADI is positive that the reason that Jilloch and others like her die prematurely is as a direct result of the stress, trauma and anguish that living such an unnatural, undignified existence causes. It is no surprise to us that Jilloch died prematurely when you think of the life she led.
"Poor old Jilloch was dressed up and mocked appallingly by a tea manufacturer and paraded on television for years, but after ADI and others successfully lobbied the manufacturer, they have not used chimps for eight years now."
But rather than learn from others mistakes, for some inexplicable reason Costa decided that now was the right time to try to buck the trend. ADI believes that they have been incredibly misguided, when you also consider the fact that 48% of primate species are endangered, and their advert validates the trade in primates and their use in human entertainment.
Jan said: "Until the coffee company give us the assurance that in future they will not use primates in their advertisements, we will continue to urge anyone who wants a coffee, not to buy from them. They don't seem to care about the exploitation of primates in entertainment, so why should you care for their coffee."
If you would like a supply of the postcards for friends, colleagues and family to help spread the word phone ADI now on 020 7630 3340 or email: email@example.com. Further information can be found at: www.ad-international.org/take_action/go.php?id=1983.
Concerned members of the public can also write directly to Costa and express their disappointment at the following address: Mr Jim Slater, Marketing Director, Costa Coffee, Whitbread Court, Houghton Hall Business Park, Porz Avenue, Dunstable, LU5 5XE.