Further to my post on 29th October regarding the latest advert from Costa Coffee, I have received a response from the Marketing Director Jim Slater...
"Thank you for your email.
I want to assure you that we are concerned about animal welfare and insist that no compromise is made regarding animal welfare standards.
By way of background, the idea for our advert focuses on the comparatively well known "infinite monkey theorem", which contends that because monkeys are highly intelligent, if you give a roomful of monkeys a typewriter each, they will eventually produce the entire works of Shakespeare. This is why monkeys are central to the film.
Although our advert looks like there were many monkeys in a room at the same time, in fact only a small number of monkeys were filmed - and never at the same time. The monkeys were filmed sensitively and individually and a veterinary surgeon was present on the set at all times. To be very clear, no monkeys were harmed during the filming of our advert. Special effects were used in the post-production process to create the impression of lots of monkeys together in one place.
The monkeys were provided by a specialist organisation called Amazing Animals and have appeared in movies and on TV many times before, so are used to being around people. They were accompanied at all times by their own highly experienced and loving handlers, and left to do what came naturally to them.
For your further assurance, I attach a copy of the letter from J Stephen Ware, BVM&S MRCVS the on-set supervisory veterinary surgeon. Stephen Ware states he is happy with the way the animals were treated during the creation of the advert.
I hope that this information goes some way to assure you of our high standards.
Mr Slater enclosed a letter from Stephen Ware as mentioned but I am unable to insert a copy to this post at the moment, it basically agreed with what was written above. This response has reassured me that the animals used were well looked after but the fact still remains that it using animals in this manner is simply encouraging people to see them as figures of fun and even as pets, instead of wild animals. I am going to write back and tell Mr Slater this as it seems they have no intention of withdrawing the advert and this means no more Costa Coffee for me...
I have found out about a campaign currently run by Wild Futures asking for support in banning the UK Primate Pet Trade, read about it here and please take a minute to sign their petition here and consider writing to your MP with the template letter provided.