In the 1970s PG Tips ran a series of very successful tv adverts featuring chimpanzees. One of these was Choppers. She is now a greying, lonely and broken 42-year-old chimp who has needed rehabilitation to help her learn to become a chimp again because she had become too humanised whilst making money for PG Tips, a tea company.
Choppers now lives at Twycross Zoo in England. Recently her chimp companion Louis, who had spent all his 37 years with Choppers, died, leaving her sad and bereft.
However, despite all the care and love given by the staff at Twycross to repair this traumatised chimp, Unilever, who own PG Tips, refuses to pay anything towards Choppers' care.
Choppers was used in advertising over a number of years to make a great deal of money for the tea manufacturers, but now that she needs help they want nothing to do with her.
You can read about Choppers and her difficult life in the following articles -
As an animal lover I would ask all fellow animal lovers to join with me in demanding that Unilever donate a generous sum of money to Twycross Zoo, so that Choppers can continue to receive the care and help she needs for the remainder of her life.
Thank you for caring and signing.
Dear Mr Polman
In January 2014 the UK media picked up on a story about Choppers, the chimpanzee who featured in TV advertisements for PG Tips. Every report I saw stated how she was struggling to behave as a chimpanzee due to having spent so many years of her life being treated as if she were human, so that she could perform in television advertising for your product.
She is now living out the remainder of her life at Twycross Zoo, where she has required a lot of care and rehabilitation The media also reported that Unilever, although aware of Choppers' problems, were refusing to pay any money towards the cost of her ongoing care; in addition the BBC website reported that Unilever "declined to comment" when the story was put to them.
As a child in the 1960s I remember watching these advertisements and enjoying them; however I was not to know that this chimpanzee would be traumatised in later life because of how she was being used.
On reading about Unilever's reluctance to make a donation towards Choppers' care, I started a petition to ask that the company have a change of heart and make a payment to Twycross Zoo specifically to help with the treatment and care of Choppers. I am now enclosing this petition, which you will see has received close to 18,000 signatures from people worldwide. Many of those who have signed have stated that they will boycott all Unilever products and will encourage their families and friends to do the same.
Surely a multi-national company like Unilever, who must make huge profits, can afford to pay a decent sum of money to help a creature who, basically, was an employee. I believe so much good publicity can be gained by Unilever showing a little humanity and generosity, by helping this elderly chimpanzee in her twilight years.
Please have a heart and do the decent thing.