The Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS) has criticised under-pressure Halfords for broadcasting its controversial TV commercial featuring performing chimpanzees a month after Halfords said they would not be shown again. Halfords said the 'current creative' period has not finished and money was found to make an 'end of season push'

Halfords slammed over re-run of chimp TV adverts

In May CAPS launched a campaign against the adverts, which featured chimpanzees dressed in clothes and acting as humans. Protests took place outside Halfords stores, the Independent Television Commission received over 120 complaints (some from Halfords staffers, upset as being likened to chimps), and primate experts worldwide condemned the use of great apes in commercials.

Halfords issued a statement in July saying it would not use chimps in commercials again. The company also said the commercial would not be shown again after the end of July.

However, a re-edited version of the commercial has been broadcast in the North West region, and Halfords has said that the advert could run up until Christmas.

"It is disgraceful that Halfords have continued to broadcast this much-criticised commercial despite saying they would stop," said CAPS campaigns officer Craig Redmond.

"Primate experts from all over the world joined British viewers in condemning this commercial which ridicules our closest relative in the animal kingdom and gives the wrong impression about the plight of this endangered species. We once more call upon Halfords to

immediately withdraw this commercial and we encourage people to boycott Halfords until the commercial is withdrawn."

Dave Evans, PR manager at Halfords, said Halfords stood by its previous statement which said that the company would not use chimps in any new adverts in the future.

STATEMENT: The Independent Television Commission has ruled that it will not be upholding the complaints received in relation to a Halfords television commercial featuring chimpanzees.

Halfords has reviewed the advertising campaign, which is still running, and decided not use chimpanzees in its advertising once the current campaign is finished. The company will not therefore be involved in any further filming with chimpanzees.

But, said Evans, the chimp footage was still deemed to be "current creative" and could therefore still be used.

"The campaign was planned to finish at the end of July but some money was found to finance an end of season push. There will be a new creative execution in time for Christmas and this will not use chimps and nor will any other future ad campaigns from Halfords.

"If money is found for paying for editing and re-running the current creative, then the chimps ad will be used again. It makes sense to use the current creative rather than go through the pain and expense of shooting new material.

"We are, howeever, committed to not using chimps in new creative and will stick to that."

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