Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Companies that have used animals in advertising and TV

Posted: 27 September 2012. Updated: 18 May 2018

ADI has campaigned against the use of animals by the following companies:


  • Big Talk Productions used wild animals supplied by Amazing Animals for the drama series “Our Zoo” which aired on BBC1.
  • Endemol: the company behind “Big Brother” unveiled a new reality TV show “Celebrity Circus. Broadcast in Portugal, the programme had celebrities attempting to perform in circus shows… including animal performances with Circo Victor Hugo Cardinalli. After a campaign by ADI and Portugal’s ANIMAL, the show’s sponsors pulled out one by one…E/MAX and Cofaco, then Credial and Bayer.
  • HBO used two live elephants in the latest episode of ‘Westworld’. An ADI investigation of supplier Have Trunk Will Travel reveals the brutal behind-the-scenes training techniques used to make the elephants perform.
  • Jonathan Ross used a rhesus monkey for a segment on his show.
  • Rise Films used a lion from Thomas Chipperfield’s circus ‘An Evening with Lions and Tigers’ for an episode of ITV2 comedy Plebs


  • Abbey: used six squirrels used in ‘family ISA’ TV advert, even though in the same advert they created CGI squirrels to act out parts of the script. The company also used eight rabbits in their ‘Switching Account’ TV advert; the rabbits were trained for weeks to jump across water onto blocks, despite the animals’ natural aversion to water.
  • used an infant orangutan to perpetrate a misconception that humans are the only primates who use tools.
  • Barclaycard: depicted a monkey as a pickpocket on a bus full of tourists with comedienne Jennifer Saunders. They have also promoted rodeos in a ‘humorous’ advert featuring ‘Green Wing’ actors Stephen Mangan and Julian Rhind-Tutt attending a real rodeo event in Brazil.
  • Barry M used a white tiger from Green Screen Animals in California for its ad campaign to promote “Lash Vegas” mascara.
  • Bench/ featured a lion from Hollywood Animals in their advertising promotion with Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim used an elephant from Have Trunk Will Travel in its advertising campaign for Spiriva. ADI has revealed evidence of elephants being electric-shocked and beaten whilst being trained at Have Trunk Will Travel in California.
  • Bombay Sapphire: used an Asian elephant, Maya , from Herman Renz Circus for a cinema advert which was filmed over two days. At the circus, ADI had filmed elephants in small, electric fenced pens inside a tent with concrete flooring and no bedding.
  • Bosch used a tiger from Spanish animal supply company Fauna Y Accion in an [advertising campaign to promote a vacuum cleaner.
  • Brother featured tigers from the American Circus in Italy for its ‘Next Time Label It’ advertising campaign. Following discussions with ADI, Brother ADI pledged not to use wild animals in future.
  • Cadillac used an elephant from Have Trunk Will Travel elephant in their commercial “Evolution of Luxury”.
  • Careerbuilder: after more than a year of pressure by ADI, Careerbuilder dropped its use of Great Apes in their advertising campaign.
  • Charles Goode London used a lemur, snake and owl supplied by Amazing Animals in its promotional trailer, produced by Green Rock TV.
  • Coca-Cola: used a ringnecked parakeet in their ‘What Goes Around, Comes Around’ promo.
  • Costa Coffee: used 16 rhesus and squirrel monkeys, mandrills and marmosets in a TV campaign ‘Monkeys and typewriters’. ADI ran an intensive postcard campaign and held demos outside stores across London whilst the advert aired.
  • Dazed & Confused used a squirrel monkey, supplied by Amazing Animals, for its front cover.
  • Debenhams used a menagerie of animals – reportedly lemurs, two parrots, a snowy owl, ostrich, snake and kangaroo – from Hertfordshire-based wildlife park Paradise Park in a photo shoot.
  • Diageo: used a dolphin and two elephants to promote their low sugar ready-to-drink Archers Vea.
  • Dolce & Gabbana: coinciding with the launch of ADI’s My Mate’s A Primate campaign, D&G used a chimpanzee for their new advertising campaign. After opposition was voiced by ADI, Seiko – whose watch featured in the promo – pledged a policy review.
  • Ernest & Jones used a cheetah from the Emdonemi Animal Care & Rehab Centre in South Africa for an advertising campaign for Amanda Wakeley.
  • European Commission: a monkey was used for a stop smoking campaign advert.
  • Graff used a fox from Amazing Animals in a photoshoot to promote its jewellery.
  • Guinness: emperor penguins were used for their ‘Best Mates’ adverts. CGI of the penguins and library footage of orca whales were used, with real penguins filmed at the Mar del Plata Aquarium in Argentina.
  • Harper’s Bazaar used various wild animals, including a tiger cub and baby gibbons, in a photo shoot for its pre-fall collections. In response to our complaint, the magazine advised that they would “share the information you provided with the production managers who worked on the shoot” but did not provide any commitment that they would not use animals again.
  • Homechoice: a chimpanzee was used to promote their on-demand TV.
  • Food company Kepak used a macaque monkey from Amazing Animals called Lily in an advertising campaign for its snack food range Rustlers.
  • Kmart, owned by Sears used a shark which died of apparent stress during the filming of a commercial.
  • Littlewoods used a cheetah from Eagle Heights in Kent in a photoshoot with Myleene Klass to promote her new range of clothing.
  • Meteor: used an orangutan, Harry, to promote its mobile phone service.
  • Portman Group: supposedly promoting sensible drinking, an ad campaign by M&C Saatchi featured chimpanzees supposedly going out, getting drunk and misbehaving.
  • PPR used a leopard in its television advertising campaign for Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium perfume, featuring actress Emily Blunt.
  • PRESTIGE magazine used a leopard in a photo shoot with Vin Diesel.
  • Saab: an European Lynx was used to promote the Saab-95 and a Brown bear and two ferrets were used to promote the Saab 93.
  • Sears used a capuchin in its ‘A Monkey’s Uncle’ advertising campaign.
  • T-Mobile Austria shelved its plans to use a circus elephant after ADI informed the telecoms company of the abuse, deprivation and suffering inflicted on animals used in entertainment. They instead produced the advert using a 3D animated elephant. Read more »
  • Toyota: used Anne, who was the UK’s last remaining circus elephant until she was relocated to Longleat Safari Park, in their advertising campaign to promote their Yaris model. After opposition from ADI, they took the advert off air.
  • UK government: used a seal and penguins in a TV advertising promotion for Working Family Tax Credit. In another advert for the Department for Education and Skills website, two vultures were used.
  • Unilever: used three chimpanzees, a bison, two bears, a hyena, a mandrill and a orangutan to promote their ‘Sure Sport’ deodorant. CGI was also used to show a total of 300 animal images on-screen.
  • Vision Express: used primates to promote a 2-for-1 deal on designer frames in its TV campaign. After discussions with ADI, it agreed to introduce an ethical policy on animal use and no longer feature any wild or exotic animals in their advertising.
  • Whiskas used two leopards for a TV advert, trained by Eric Weld from Hollywood Animals in California.
  • Wild About Beauty, the new beauty brand from Louise Redknapp, was approached by ADI to verify whether performing wild animals were used in the promotional trailer which featured a panther. ADI were delighted to confirm that the panther was “taken from stock film of a panther photographed in its natural environment".

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