People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is using its power to keep Comic-Con attendees from visiting SeaWorld San Diego.
A provocative advertisement was posted this week near baggage claim in Terminal 2 at the San Diego International Airport, according to Bluewater Productions, who produced the ad for PETA. The 20-foot comic book-style cartoon shows SeaWorld’s CEO caught in the mouth of an orca whale and reads “he will let you go if you let him go.”
The $24,000 ad campaign is PETA’s latest attack against SeaWorld for keeping killer whales in captivity. The anti-SeaWorld movement ignited when the film “Blackfish” was released last year.
In a statement Tuesday, SeaWorld Public Relations Director Dave Koontz called the ad “tasteless” and said SeaWorld actually makes a difference in animals’ lives, not PETA:
Even by PETA’s standards, this ad is as offensive as it is tasteless. PETA isn’t concerned with actually helping animals. They are a radical organization that continues to spend its money on publicity stunts like the profane Jason Biggs video and advertising campaigns like this for the sole purpose of promoting their agenda. The truth is that our killer whales are healthy and happy, and thrive in our care. The real animal welfare organization is SeaWorld, not PETA, and our trainers, aviculturists, animal-care staff and veterinarians are the true advocates for animals. We encourage people to get the facts on our commitment to the animals in our care at seaworld.com/truth and seaworldcares.com.
SeaWorld has its own advertisements in both terminals at Lindbergh Field.
PETA sued after the airport’s advertising vendor refused an anti-SeaWorld ad earlier this year. The ad showed actress Kathy Najimy from the HBO show” Veep” saying, “Welcome to San Diego! If you love animals like I do, please avoid SeaWorld.''
The ad was displayed at the airport for four weeks at a cost of $17,500.
Comic-Con runs July 24 to 27 at the San Diego Convention Center.