The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) has launched a campaign to persuade Halfords to withdraw its latest TV commercial which features chimpanzees dressed in clothes and acting as humans.
After Halfords refused to immediately withdraw the commercial, CAPS produced a leaflet, poster and petition encouraging people to boycott the store and complain to its head office.
A series of protests outside many of Halford's 400 stores is now being co-ordinated. The campaign will feature the slogan 'On Your Bike Halfords!'
Craig Redmond, CAPS Campaigns Officer said:
"Chimpanzees are extremely intelligent animals with highly complex needs and should not be subjected to the humiliation and distress of being trained and dressed to perform in this manner which clearly seeks to ridicule them.
"The use of chimpanzees in this way is totally unacceptable. They are an endangered species in the wild, who share 99.4 percent of our genetic identity, and to ridicule them by dressing them up and using them in commercials diminishes their status as animals deserving protection."
CAP said other companies have realised their past mistakes in using chimpanzees in
commercials. In February 2002 Grolsch pulled their TV advert featuring chimps and pledged never to use chimps again following a complaint from
PG Tips also ended their use of chimps last year.
There are numerous welfare problems created by using chimps in commercials, said a statement from CAP.
It is usually only young chimps that are used as adults are too strong to handle - this creates more breeding in captivity with young taken away from their mothers. There is also evidence of chimps having their teeth removed to stop them biting, as well as training by electric-shock collars and other cruelty.
Primate experts also condemn the use of chimps in adverts. Renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall once commented "The chimpanzee's 'smile' so often seen on TV is actually a grin of fear. These trained performers suffer greatly for our amusement."
Those bike trade folk who are also chimp-friendly may like to use this online form to lodge their distaste with the Independent TV Commission: