Invisible Monkey II: PETA Defends Dodge, Gets All Up In Our Grille

August 16, 2010

Ah, the Interwebz. We wrote a little story last Thursday about how Dodge digitally erased the image of a monkey from an end-of-year clearance commercial after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals complained.

And it sorta went viral. Tens of thousands of people viewed it, and more than 50 people left comments. Many of them, ummmmm, not terribly PETA-supportive.

Well, today we got a letter from a gent named Michael Lyubinsky at PETA. It said:

We saw your recent story "So Is Chrysler's Invisible Ad Monkey Flipping Off PETA?" about Dodge's decision to edit a chimpanzee out of its commercial after learning from PETA about the abuse that young chimpanzees and orangutans suffer in the entertainment industry.

We wanted to direct you to this recent statement in which Dodge says that it is "firmly committed to never using great apes in [its] advertisements again." The carmaker also states that it is "not making light of the issue" and that the company hopes its "attempt at humor keeps the discussion about animal rights alive."

We at PETA have enjoyed Dodge's recent incarnation of the ad and are thrilled that Dodge has joined the growing number of companies--including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Samsung, Europcar, Sprint Nextel, Subaru, Honda, Levi Strauss & Co., PUMA, Yahoo!, Johnson & Johnson, and Gap, Inc.--that have pulled the plug on existing ads featuring great apes or have pledged not to use great apes in any future advertising.

OK, fair enough. It's the right thing to do for a pressure group to compliment a company that caves in to its demands. We get that.

Here's the problem: We still think that Dodge's "attempt at humor" basically spanked PETA by just erasing the image of the monkey. We're hard-pressed to see how the altered ad "keeps the discussion about animal rights alive."

But maybe we're too literal here. What do you think: Who won here, PETA, Dodge, the great apes ... or all of the above?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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