Target: Maureen McGuire, Chief Marketing Officer
Goal: End the exploitation of live wild animals in commercials and advertisements.
Kmart, one of the largest American chain stores, recently shot a commercial featuring a 5-foot long white-tipped shark. After showing signs of distress, the shark died shortly after production. In an age where computer-generated imagery (CGI) is widely incorporated into films and television shows, live animals should not be used. Demand that Kmart pledge to not use wild animals for future advertisements and commercials.
The white-tipped shark was flown from New York to Los Angeles for the commercial shoot. It was then placed in a backyard pool during filming, where it began to show visible signs of distress. The shark then died shortly after being transported to Long Beach, CA for medical care. Although representatives from the film unit claim that no abuse or neglect was involved, the fact remains that a wild animal was taken from its habitat 3,000 miles away, put on a plane for a 5 hour flight, and then placed in a pool. Sharks are sensitive creatures that can detect changes in low-frequency sounds, vibrations, and electrical currents surrounding them. It is highly likely that the noise and chaos from the commercial shoot, as well as from transportation, was stressful and alarming for the shark.
In captivity, sharks require a highly specialized and controlled environment. The water temperature, filtration, and salinity must be maintained at specific levels at all times. Because of the amount of detail and attention that goes into caring for sharks and due to sharks’ sensitivity to environmental changes, they should not be used in any type of filming. After the death of the shark, Kmart requested a second shark but was denied, and replaced it with a hippopotamus instead. With modern technology improving the television and film industry with animatronics and CGI, there is no excuse for exploiting wild animals.
Sign the petition below to urge Kmart to stop using wild animals in their advertisements and commercials.
Dear Ms. McGuire,
I was outraged to hear about the recent death of a white-tipped shark during a Kmart commercial shoot. The shark started showing signs of distress during the shoot and died immediately after production. Wild animals should not be used for filming purposes, as they are unaccustomed to loud noises and unfamiliar settings. I would like to urge you to stop approving the use of wild animals in Kmart marketing and advertising strategies.
The shark that was used for the commercial was flown from New York to Los Angeles. This 3,000 mile cross-country trip is already a giant ordeal for an animal accustomed to living in a specific type of environment. The shark was then placed in a backyard pool for filming. Although representatives from the film unit claim that no abuse or neglect was involved, the fact remains that a wild animal was taken from its habitat, put on a 5-hour plane ride, and then placed in a pool. For wild animals, this is enough stress to cause panic and health issues. In captivity, sharks require a highly specialized and controlled environment. Sharks are also very sensitive creatures and can detect changes in noise, vibrations, and electrical currents.
It is highly likely that the noise and chaos from the commercial shoot, as well as from transportation, was stressful for the shark, causing the shark’s health to plummet rapidly. With the technology of animatronics and CGI available for film purposes, there is no excuse for exploiting wild animals. These animals should not be used for entertainment purposes or for profit. Please consider ending the use of wild animals for future Kmart advertisements.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: thelastminute via Flickr