After a polite brow-beating from PETA over its Samba de Amigo ads, Sega gets an "A" for effort and a nice box of vegan chocolate monkeys. Awwww.
Upon learning Sega used a real chimpanzee in website video ads for its colorful, ape-centric rhythm game, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals apparently contacted the company. According to the PETA blog, SEGA then pulled the videos from its site "faster than you can mangle a Metallica song on Guitar Hero." Wow, that's fast.
In one of the offending ads, the chimp in question shakes maracas and watches an over-exuberant group of kids play the game. He then busts out a sweet break dance move. Another features the cute primate using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to mimic gameplay. In a third, he arrives at the creepily upbeat family's front door with maracas, gets his shake on, and joins the spectacle.
"We explained how involuntary chimpanzee 'actors' are being taken away from their mothers when they are just a year or so old and forced to perform confusing and repetitious tricks," writes PETA blogger Amy Elizabeth in a post about the ads this week. "We also explained some of the horrible methods that chimpanzee 'trainers' use, such as electric shocks with shock collars and prods, isolation, beatings with sawed-off pool cues and slapjacks, and food deprivation. Then, at the ripe old age of just eight, the chimpanzees reach puberty and their showbiz careers are over-and they end up being dumped at dismal roadside zoos or sold to laboratories for experimentation."
PETA applauded Sega's quick response to pull the video ads and sent the company a thank-you card with a small box of vegan chocolates in the shape of monkeys. Let's hope Sega doesn't run any ads involving fur coats.