Verizon Pitbull Commercial

UPDATE – Good News!! The commercial has been pulled by Verizon but please take a moment and ask them to BE RESPONSIBLE in the future! Sign the Petition!

PETITION

By now I’m sure many of you have seen the tasteless, to put it mildly, Verizon Wireless commercial depicting vicious chained pitbulls as ‘junk yard’ dogs. Public outcry had been loud and too the point, pull the ad!! Verizon doesn’t seem to be listening.

The commercial shows a young man trying to obtain the phone by climbing a junkyard fence, when he is instantly greeted by two pit bulls. The dogs, with cropped ears and metal choke collars, bark ferociously and lunge at the intruder. They are just a hair’s breadth away from the phone because their heavy metal chains do not quite extend far enough.

The spot has infuriated groups from the Humane Society of the U.S. — which has asked Verizon to pull the ad — to PETA, the ASPCA and dozens of pet-related websites, which have posted petitions and message boards on the web protesting the ad with slogans like “Can They Hear Us Now?” (Adage)

They hear but they’re still not listening! Personally I think they are reveling in the controversy!

Best Friends has been in touch with Verizon;

Well, I talked to a Verizon Wireless media relations person, Brenda Raney, after many call transfers throughout their company. I called because I noticed that the YouTube video of the commercial was no longer available and I hadn’t seen the commercial in a few days. I thought perhaps they had known what’s right, respected what’s right and done what’s right, already. Yeah right!

She explained that they have been getting slack from the public about the commercial, but she quickly added that they’ve also been getting compliments on the commercial. When asked what the percentages were between the two camps, she told me that was private information. Also, they had not pulled the commercial from viewing, as they see no reason to. The commercial might run more infrequently because the other “Dare” commercial is in circulation, and that Verizon Wireless had not taken the commercial off YouTube, but they also swap out different commercials to the website, and it could be coincidence.

Brenda shared some of the company’s feelings about how they don’t see the commercial as a problem, “we didn’t create the commercial to be offensive. Commercials are fiction and people like the commercial…Recognize that the commercial won’t run forever.

We’re listening to the public, we’re taking into account the comments we’re getting. It’s a fictional setting – the dogs in the commercial are actors. The commercials were never meant to be malicious or mean spirited.

We’ll take to heart comments and concerns from the public for future advertising!”

Pitbulls are without a doubt the most maligned breed on earth right now and something like this just feeds the hype and myth and bad reputation. It’s tasteless and insensitive.

HSUS, ASPCA and many others have asked Verizon to get a heart and conscience and pull this ad to no avail. Maybe some loss of revenue will open their eyes!! People are pissed! This is the hot topic on forums and blogs all over the internet and most of the feedback is very negative.

Kathy Bauch, senior director-corporate relations and promotion at the Humane Society, said the ad could further inflame an already outstanding prejudice against pit bulls. “We understand why advertisers use stereotypes. It resonates and people get the point,” she said. “But this perpetuates the idea that it is OK to chain dogs and it is OK to have guard dogs.”

Mary Harwelik, founder and director of The Real Pit Bull, an education and advocacy organization, said, “This is big news in the pit-bull world. People are outraged.” Describing the ad as inappropriate and inaccurate, she said, “Pit bulls are not guard dogs and they were never meant to be guard dogs.”

A statement released by the ASPCA in response to the ads says, “These dogs can make wonderful additions to a family. The public also showed their support for the evaluation and rehabilitation of the pit bulls rescued from the Michael Vick case, suggesting that they are ahead of the corporate world in their understanding of pit bulls.”

It’s time for us to be heard!!

As Best Friends Says – Let’s Turn It Up for Ya!
Verizon Wireless will listen to the public for future advertising tips!
Make a statement: Switch your phone service and tell ‘em why!

Contact Lowell C. McAdam, the CEO and President of Verizon Wireless to let him know that they should practice what they preach in advertising too! Click here to contact him.

Contact their public relations department!

Sign the petition, click here

Verizon Pitbull Commercial

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