College students represent a key audience for youth-focused companies like CareerBuilder, which is why it's so unusual that the company has chosen to include something in their upcoming Super Bowl ad that young people overwhelmingly disagree with: cruelty to animals.
PETA recently learned that CareerBuilder has plans to run a new commercial featuring chimpanzees during the big game, despite hearing from thousands of concerned consumers after the company aired ad campaigns in 2005 and 2006 that portrayed chimpanzees as misbehaving office workers.
As students are becoming increasingly aware, chimpanzees used in the entertainment and advertising industries are typically very young animals who are prematurely removed from their mothers -- often just days or weeks after birth. Trainers use physical abuse in order to ensure that chimpanzees know "who's boss" and to force the animals to perform confusing, unnatural behaviors on cue. By the time chimpanzees reach approximately 8 years of age, they are too strong to be safely handled and are often discarded at unaccredited roadside zoos or otherwise warehoused in appalling conditions. PETA investigations have revealed that former "celebrity" apes were living in small cages littered with garbage and feces and were denied basic necessities, such as wholesome food and adequate veterinary care.
With such gruesome details coming to light, 10 of the top 15 advertising agencies in the world have now instituted policies that prohibit the use of chimpanzees and other great apes in their ads in order to avoid turning off potential customers. In fact, in 2010, every new ad that featured an ape was pulled or modified after companies were inundated with complaints from animal protection groups and the public. Dodge and Pfizer are just two examples of companies that altered their ads in order to cut the ape footage after learning about the ethical problems associated with exploiting these highly intelligent and sensitive animals.
So what gives, CareerBuilder? Are you really so dead set on alienating your target audience that you're willing to sabotage your own résumé by spending yet another year with your head in the sand? Luckily, other agencies like Monster offer similar services to job-seekers, without involving great apes in their advertising. College students looking to build a career should start with Monster, not CareerBuilder, until the company agrees to end the use of great apes in its advertisements.