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Procter and Gamble vs Peta

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Submitted By Jbutler20
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“What’s that?” you wonder as you look out your window. A small group of people is gathered on the sidewalk at the end of the wisteria gardens in front of the main headquarters of Procter & Gamble. If you squint, you can see they’re holding signs, but the only text you can make out is the word “PETA” in big letters across the bottom. “Just great,” you think to yourself.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal-rights group more commonly know by the acronym PETA, raises more than $25 million a year from its 1.6 million members and supporters. PETA not only campaigns for animal rights but also funds less known animal-rights groups to engage in activism. PETA is extremely adept at organizing public campaigns and mobilizing the public to boycott companies. Its public-relations tactics include celebrity endorsements, traveling displays of animal abuse, and creative on-site demonstrations. Even large international companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC have bowed to pressure from PETA. In response to aggressive campaigns, all three have issued strict humane animal handling guidelines to suppliers of beef, pork, and chicken and enforce those standards with unannounced audits of production farms and processing plants.

PETA has been known to use pretty crude tactics. In one instance, a viral ad featuring scantily clad women with cow udders instead of breasts was distributed in the UK as part of a campaign against milk drinking and production. PETA had hoped to air a television version of the ad on the ABC network in the United States during the Super Bowl, but was told the execution “falls outside boundaries of good taste.” Mimicking television shows like Girls Gone Wild, in which women are encouraged to disrobe for cameras, PETA’s “Milk Gone Wild” ad shows models dancing in a bar, surrounded by men drinking glasses of milk. When the women tear off their tops, they expose cow udders. In another instance, PETA successfully launched a six-year campaign of intimidation against the owners, staff, and suppliers of a farm that bred guinea pigs for scientific research. Their tactics, denounced as mob rule by some in the medical research community, included hate mail, malicious phone calls, death threats, fireworks, a pedophile smear campaign, car vandalism, arson attacks, and finally the theft of the remains of a relative of the farm owner from the churchyard cemetery. It is clear that PETA will do anything to achieve its goals.

Procter & Gamble (P&G) does not use animals to test the safety of its cosmetics, shampoos, detergents, cleansers, and paper goods; it does, however, use animals to test the safety of new drugs, health-care products, and products intended for use on babies and children. Nonetheless, P&G still draws protests from PETA in the form of PETA’s “Died” advertising campaign, based on P&G’s best-selling laundry detergent Tide. The “Died” ad shows a woman holding a box of “Died” detergent with the words “Thousands of Animals Died for Your Laundry” boldly written on the box. PETA is urging consumers to boycott all P&G products until the company ends all forms of animal testing.

From P&G’s perspective, eliminating animal testing altogether could compromise safety, as testing is critical to producing safe products for its customers. P&G has to know, for example, that a product will not cause injury if children accidentally swallow it or get it into their eyes. Furthermore, in the event that a product liability lawsuit is filed against the company, its best legal defense would be the scientific testing it performs on rats and rabbits

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