Phony Physicians Committee Earns Itself Free Press (But not a Free Pass)
Here we go again. The ridiculously misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM is a PETA front-group and a “physicians committee” in name only) has released another red-meat advertisement that bought it a juicy and succulent round of controversy. (That's not offensive, is it?) It seems Houston television stations haven't taken too kindly to the vegan activists’ repulsive tactics:
The advertisement from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, titled "Consequences," displays a doctor and a weeping woman standing over a corpse clutching a cheeseburger in its right hand.
The 30-second spot ends with a picture of the McDonald's logo, the words "I was lovin' it," a parody of the company's "I'm lovin' it" slogan, and the voiceover, "High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian."
We wish this ad rejection were a crushing blow to PCRM, but it’s actually a sneaky PR tactic. Animal rights groups film wildly offensive commercials all the time that TV stations inevitably turn down. The activists then issue press releases and get free exposure. (The result is much cheaper than the cost of actually running the offending ads.)
If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Last year NBC rejected an ad that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) tried to air during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The spot featured a girl “saying grace” and describing how turkeys are allegedly abused. NBC also refused to run another PETA commercial during the Super Bowl that featured sparsely-dressed women fondling vegetables. (You read that right.) Both incidents bought PETA plenty of controversy and plenty of media exposure, while costing next to nothing.
It’s no real surprise that PCRM uses a page from PETA’s playbook. PCRM president Neal Barnard used to run the PETA Foundation. And that’s all PCRM really is—PETA wackos in lab coats.