Controversial Super Bowl Commercial from Skechers Has Many UpsetPublished January 19, 2012
Greyhounds Racing = Flickr User Mamboman1
For many, the Skechers commercial is controversial because it appears to support dog racing, a sport considered to be cruel and inhumane by many animal lovers. Additionally, the segment has caught flak for being filmed at the Tucson Greyhound Park, a racetrack that reportedly has a less than stellar reputation. According to Grey2K USA, the only full-time organization with the mission of protecting greyhounds nationwide, the commercial has dog lovers “barking” mad.
“Skechers using Tucson Greyhound Park as the backdrop for an ad is akin to Hertz calling back O.J. Simpson as a spokesperson,” said Christine Dorchak, the president of Grey2K.
According to Grey2K, many occurrences of neglect took place at the racetrack shortly before the film shoot. Arizona State records show between January 2007 and November 2009 close to 1,000 greyhounds had been injured. Most of the injuries were broken legs, with 67 injury cases resulting in death. Grey2K and other animal rights organizations claim that the dogs at the racetrack were mistreated and kept in tiny cages, but the CEO of the track, Tom Taylor, claims the cages are among the largest in the country.
Almost three weeks ago, I sent several emails to company representatives in an attempt to learn about Skechers’ side of the story. Thus far, no responses have been received. Additionally, their website has no mention of the commercial reported to air during the Super Bowl on February 5.
After extensive searching, the only statement I could find in favor of the Skechers commercial came from the American Greyhound Council (AGC), which fully supports Skechers for sticking to their guns and not retracting the ad. In fact, they are asking race fans to commend the company for their tenacity.
Since the American Humane Society of the United States maintains no animals were harmed in the making of the ad, AGC believes that Grey2K’s agenda is not about greyhound welfare.
“By its own words, Grey2K has confirmed that its focus isn’t the welfare of greyhounds, but the very existence of greyhound racing,” said Gary Guccione, the AGC communication Coordinator. " Their agenda is political, not humane.”
On which side of the story do you find yourself? Share with a comment.