Friday, March 14

Over-representation in the media?

Chimps, it appears, are in a lot more danger in the wild than people think they are. The problem is that public perception of them is often that they can't be that endangered as, well... they're on TV. All the time. Largely selling us stuff. And even the American Association for the Advancement of Science thought this was a good idea until they were told otherwise.

While in the UK the major chimp-related adverts were the long-running PG Tips series, and they have now moved over to a woollen simian who was previously the only successful thing about ITV's digital efforts. However, advertising executives worldwide can't resist monkeys. Look! They're monkeying around! Hahaha!

As a recent letter to Science, signed by some of the most notable primate researchers, points out:
"In movies, television shows, and advertisements, chimpanzees are often depicted as caricatures of humans, dressed in clothes and/or photographed in contrived poses "

Using them in adverts is not just demeaning (and old, hackneyed and unoriginal) - it also helps threaten the future of chimpanzees in the wild. Because if the public don't think they're in trouble, there is going to be less pressure to save them.

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