PETA: pitiful advertising.

We’ve all heard the saying ‘sex sells’ but I think that PETA’s ad campaigns are pushing the limits of what is morally acceptable for adverts. I was outraged when I saw the latest PETA Superbowl advert (that was recently banned) that I posted earlier today.

According to PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, their company is the largest animal rights organization in the world; with over 3 million followers. They are unrivalled in the industry by their display of the most controversial subject matter seen today, often consisting of nudity or sexual insinuations.

PETA are fully aware of this, in fact they purposefully use “colourful and controversial demonstrations and campaigns” as a way to attract attention to sensitive issues of animal rights. An example of their campaigns being “colourful and controversial” is their “naked” campaign that displays celebrities that would “rather go naked than wear fur”. Holly Madison’s advert attached claims that she “always [fakes] it” and is an example of how their adverts not only excessively expose and subordinate women, but are sexually insinuating and inappropriate.

However, using celebrities to bare their skin for the animals’ sake is actually what has attributed to their immense success. Celebrities such as Simon Cowell, Charlize Theron, Paul McCartney, Pamela Anderson, Khloe Kardashian etc. have all submitted themselves to their campaigns and the list of celebrities who have followed suit is endless. PETA have orchestrated these adverts in a strategic attempt to generate global coverage through targeting the fans of the celebrities they use.

PETA relies heavily on free coverage in mass media through PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) by featuring in the magazines, blogs and TV shows of the admired sports stars, celebrities and artists that they use in their campaigns, in order to reach its intended audiences. This is an effective and cheap form of advertising and I think that it is an example of how this company is, for lack of a better word, sly.

I may not agree with their politics, but there’s no denying that the marketing team at PETA are brilliant. The slogans on their adverts are catchy, witty and unforgettable.

However, they seem to have forgotten the etiquette of advertising and their contribution to the fashion industry is often a little embarrassing. This form of advertising is outrageous and highly offensive. The reason why I am so strongly against their campaigns is because of their insensitive portrayal of women. As seen in the pictures attached, this company has pointedly portrayed women in a demeaning, subordinate position in an attempt to convey a “moral” message of animal rights. This doesn’t make sense to me… How can they have such an ethical message, yet present it in such a severely unethical manner? I see it as hypocrisy.
What do you think?
Do you wear fur for the sake of fashion?

Holly Hocks

http://www.peta.org
http://origin.www.peta.org/mediacenter/ads/Print-Ads-Skins.aspx

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