This from MacLeans Magazine. Why is it everyting you read something about PETA the word "unusual" seems to be tied to it
The brightly coloured inukshuk that serves as the symbol of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics is, according to the official bumpf, ďan eternal expression of the hospitality of a nation that warmly welcomes the people of the world with open arms every day.Ē It even has a nameóIlanaaqóthe Inuktitut word for friend.
But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the U.S.-based animal rights organization, has come up with a decidedly less wholesome version of the 2010 Gamesí most visible trademark: The iconic stone man clubbing a baby seal to death as blood drips from the Olympic rings.
The parody is prominently featured on the groupís website and is serving as the centerpiece of a year-long anti-Games campaign, meant to pressure Canadian politicians to bring an end to the East Coast seal hunt. ďThis is a time when the whole world is looking at Canada, and itís a perfect occasion for the country to remove a bloody stain from its international reputation,Ē says Colleen Higgins, the Atlanta-based organizer of the campaign. ďItís perfect time for the government to step up.Ē
PETA happily acknowledges the absence of any directóor even indirectóconnection between next yearís international sporting event on the West Coast, and the long-controversial part of the Atlantic fishery, but makes no apologies for hijacking the Games to grab headlines. ďWhat weíre known for is eye-catching demos,Ē says Higgins. (In recent years, the organizationís greatest media exposure has come through anti-fur ad campaigns featuring semi-naked celebrities.) On Thursday, they fired their most recent salvo: spreading fake blood on the ice of Ottawaís Rideau Canal. ďIt represents the hundreds of thousands of seals who lose their lives on the floes off the East Coast every year,Ē says Higgins. More protests are planned for later this month in Toronto, and at Canadian embassies and consulates around the globe.
So far, VANOC, the Games organizing committee, is taking a low-key approach to the appropriation of Ilanaaq. Although the Olympic movement is legendarily litigious when it comes to protecting its trademarks from unauthorized commercial use, it tends to let parody, satires and artistic representations slide by. VANOC reps declined to comment on-the-record about the PETA campaign, and clearly have little interest in adding fuel to the fire with legal action.
However, the animal rights group, a long-time opponent of the seal hunt, believes its stunts are working, particularly overseas. A recent viral campaign in Germanyówhich saw the creation of a fake heavy metal band called The Canadians, with a signature tune ďKill, kill,Ē is up for an advertising award next month. The spoof, created by the Hamburg office of Springer and Jacoby, spread fake tour posters with Iron Maiden style graphics around the country. A Myspace page and Youtub video offered links to PETA, and on-line petitions. Sonia Dicke, a firm representative says the campaign generated 300,000 clicks a week at its height last summer, and that to date, more than 4,500 of the ďbandsĒ T-shirts have been sold. And the musicians who performed the anti-sealing dirgeóa real heavy metal act called Blackened Whiteówill perform a one-off gig as The Canadians next month at the Art Directorís award ceremonies in Berlin. ďItís a very serious evening,Ē says Dicke. ďLast year, Karl Lagerfeld was there.Ē