I love animals. Specifically, I love Jack, our 135 lb. Malamute who’s literally dozing at my feet as I type this. I don’t believe in animal cruelty; clubbing baby seals is unimaginably horrific and even pulling a hook from a walleye’s mouth gives me the willies. But seriously, PETA? You guys need to dial it back a notch. Or ten.
In a move that comes as no surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with their headline grabbing tactics, this decidedly-excitable group has petitioned the good people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to replace their world-famous groundhog with an animatronic. Seriously.
This is the same group that took issue with President Obama for swatting a nettlesome fly during a television interview. The same wingnuts that bought outdoor boards in Florida featuring an obese woman with the headline: “Save The Whales-Lose The Blubber: Go Vegetarian.” And the same whack jobs that urged Ben and Jerry’s to switch from using cow’s milk to human milk (Say it with me: ewww…)
I will admit that their tactics do earn them coverage; I’m not a fan but I’m writing about them so clearly they are being heard.
But in their madcap pursuit of headlines, they lost their story. PETA has devolved into a bad joke, an embarrassment to many of us once-sympathetic to their issues. Serious topics like the dangers of beef injected with growth hormones, the needless factory farming of whales, and the horrors of leg hold trapping by the fur industry pale before headline chasing stunts like asking Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to convert a bankrupt poultry plant into a ‘Chicken Empathy Museum.’
It’s just one stunt after another. And so PETA has lost it’s story. For any brand, that’s a very bad thing.
As to the events in PA, here’s hoping ol’ Phil won’t see his shadow this year.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79