Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Petition delivered. Will CareerBuilder show chimps some Valentine love?

Today I emailed a copy of the signatures from our petition on, to various people at CareerBuilder. The document, with over 2,700 signatures, was 99 pages long. Those 99 pages contain the fervent hopes and the growing outrage over the use of live chimpanzees in advertising.

I asked CareerBuilder to respond by February 14. Company spokespeople say they respect chimpanzees. I hope they will prove it by showing their chimp love on Valentine's Day, and declaring that they will stop using live chimpanzees in their ads.

This is the cover letter, to Matthew W. Ferguson, CEO, CareerBuilder, asking for his response by February 14.

Chimp Trainer’s Daughter
Dawn Forsythe

February 8, 2012

Matthew W. Ferguson, CEO

Dear Mr. Ferguson,
Over 2,700 people came together in the course of a couple of days, to sign a petition that I organized as a private citizen, to ask CareerBuilder to stop using chimpanzees in Super Bowl ads. I have attached their signatures, so you can see the names of real people with real concerns about the action of your company. The petition says it best:

CareerBuilder: Stop using chimpanzees in Super Bowl Ads

CareerBuilder is hurting chimpanzees, both captive and wild, with their irresponsible exploitation of chimps in their marketing campaigns over the years.

Responsible companies are creating innovative marketing campaigns with new computer generated imagery technology instead of real animals, but CareerBuilder continues to exploit live chimpanzees in their outdated ads that harken back to the mindless exploitation of the last century.

By using live chimpanzees for advertising, CareerBuilder supports an industry that hurts the chimps from the beginning of their lives when they are forcibly taken away from their mothers, through their youthful isolation and often abusive training, to their final 40 or 50 years when they are discarded into sanctuaries without financial support.

Beyond the hurt done to these specific chimps, a public who laughs at zany and unnatural antics of costumed chimps is less likely to understand that chimpanzees are an endangered species that need protection.

In refusing to stop their use of chimpanzees, even though they know of the objections by animal welfare advocates, CareerBuilder commits tremendous harm to the "here and now" of the captive chimpanzees they've used in the past and the chimps they are using now, and the future (if it exists) of chimpanzees in the wild.

I had closed the petition, but reopened it at the request of people who wanted to add their names. You may see their comments at

My hope is to post a final update, by Valentine’s Day, saying that CareerBuilder has agreed to lead a new revolution in advertising, where there are no apes in ads, and where companies like CareerBuilder will innovate with digital technology — whether it is performance capture, computer generated imagery, or animatronics.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of the hopes of thousands who cared enough about chimpanzees to put their name on the line. I look forward to seeing your public statement by February 14.

Dawn Forsythe
Chimp Trainer’s Daughter


  1. I hope he responds to this letter. CB has an opportunity to go from Zero to Hero on this issue- especially if they also make a donation to a Sanctuary like Center for Great Apes, where some retired CB chimps now are residents.

  2. i have signed the petition and I've done a petition in my school to stop animal dissection, but unfortunately it failed on me! I would like to know how to post links on the blog? I'm going to try on online petition and see if it has better results than my pen and paper one. Thanks so much about caring for animals! I share the same compassion towards them even though I'm the butt of many jokes at school. I know I'm better than the others are for being strong enough to not eat meat and to fight for the justice! We are strong and we can change this cruelty! If you would like read my blog even though most of it doesn't have to do with animal right, but more to do with my life. Thanks again!

    Your friend, Briana

    1. Hi Briana,
      You have a good blog going there! Your enthusiasm is a joy to read. I am so heartened that you and other teens understand what my generation didn't about chimpanzees in entertainment. It gives me hope that this old and ugly tradition ends when your generation takes charge.

      Let me know when you post an entry about chimps -- maybe dream about the future a bit? -- and I will be happy to post a link to your blog.

      Keep writing, and don't pay attention to the jerks. People who care, and who write about their cares, rock!