People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has publicly called out a Kodiak Cakes ad campaign for animal exploitation, after the Utah-based breakfast food company used a live bear in an ad.
Driving the news: According to a press release sent to the Deseret News, PETA sent a letter to Kodiak Cakes CEO Joel Clark “urging him to pull the plug on a new advertising campaign featuring the company’s chief brand officer, Zac Efron, and a bear named Tank.”
- The “Keep It Wild” advertising campaign in question is a collaboration with Draplin Design Co. to benefit the Vital Ground Foundation, a grizzly bear charity organization that was founded in 1990.
- According to PETA, Tank was “traumatically” taken from his mother as a young cub and immediately put under the care of Hollywood trainer and Vital Ground Foundation co-founder Doug Seus, appearing in shows and movies such as “Dr. Doolittle 2” and “We Bought a Zoo.”
What they’re saying: In the letter, Debbie Metzler, PETA’s director of captive animal welfare, said the activist group has attempted to contact Kodiak Cakes “several times” to discuss the problem.
- “However, since we have not heard back from you, PETA is left with no other option but to alert our members and the public to the fact that Kodiak Cakes doesn’t share their concern for the suffering and exploitation of bears and other wild animals,” Metzler said in the letter.
- In regards to Kodiak Cakes’ association with the Vital Ground Foundation, Metzler said, “No true conservation group would ever exploit captive wildlife in order to raise awareness of the plight of animals in nature.”
- Neither Efron nor Kodiak Cakes have spoken out on the matter.
- Kodiak Cakes posted another video of Efron and Tank the bear on its LinkedIn account just a few hours after the PETA letter went public.
Details: Efron became the chief brand officer and a company shareholder of Kodiak Cakes in June, as I previously reported.
- The company was started in 1982 and is based in Park City. It sells graham crackers, protein balls, oatmeal, syrups and more.