From DenverChannel.com:Dead Parakeet In Commercial Upsets Group
POSTED: 3:49 p.m. MST January 28, 2003
DENVER -- A parrot welfare group has launched an e-mail campaign to convince Quizno's to rework a television advertisement to remove a fake dead bird (pictured, left).
The 30-second ad, aired during the Super Bowl for $2.2 million, tells the story of the sandwich chain's chef, Jimmy Lambatos. He is a man so obsessed with the perfect sandwich that he neglects his everyday life -- including his bird.
He drives a dirty car, forgets to put on pants and neglects his budgerigar, an Australian parakeet. At one point during the ad, the camera pans past a dead bird lying at the bottom of its cage.
"We're lighthearted. We're whimsical. The only thing we take seriously in this commercial is our food," said Stacie Lange, a spokeswoman for the Denver-based company.
After seeing the ad, Diane Doty-Schleder of the nonprofit Basalt-based Gabriel Foundation sent out an e-mail to the organization's 2,000 members. She said hundreds have responded by sending e-mails to the company.
It has been posted on bird-lovers' message boards on the Internet and she faxed the message to Quizno's Chief Executive Richard Schaden.
A representative of Cliff Freeman & Partners, Quizno's ad agency, assured the group no birds were harmed and the bird in the ad was a prop.
Doty-Schleder said parrots are the third-most popular pet in the United States behind dogs and cats.
"Death by starvation and neglect is in epidemic proportions with our caged birds," she said. "It's not appropriate to use neglect and abuse to sell sandwiches. It's not funny."
Lange said she is not aware of an e-mail campaign.
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