Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cell Phones and "Vicious" Dogs?!

If you watch TV, or even if you don't, you probably know about one cell phone company's commercial showing someone going over a fence and having to avoid Pitbulls in order to get their newest cell phone. It is completely offensive to anyone who loves dogs. There are those who will tell you that there is no such thing as a "Pitbull" and that is essentially true. There are "Bully" breeds and there are some crosses that look like anything but an alleged "Pitbull."  What this commercial is doing is further demonizing dogs.

The dogs are chained and portrayed in every possible way to be vicious. The company refuses to remove the ad. There is an ugly tendency now to castigate some dogs because of the way they look. It has been carried to such an extreme that it isn't unusual for someone walking a little Pug or Boston Terrier to be stopped on the street and asked if it's a "Pitbull." 

Many breeds have gone through similar experiences and been falsely labeled as "vicious." Any dog can bite. They have teeth and no other way to defend themselves but to paint all dogs with one brush is as bad as saying that all people are the same, all cars are the same, all horses are the same, well, you get the idea.

If I hadn't already left that cell phone service provider for another last year I would certainly leave them now in protest, opting to vote with my dollars.

What is as offensive as the commercial is the fact that the company won't acknowledge their mistake, apologize and move on, creating better relations with the dog-owning public.  

Are there bad dogs? Of course!  Any dog can be turned into a defensive animal but there are far more good dogs whose owners love them, train them properly, and care for them as family members. Those people buy cell phones and cell phone service, too. And I suspect once they realize what is happening they may opt for another provider.  

Time will tell. Meanwhile, I'm just one more voice asking that this commercial be taken off the air. Now. Please.  


Anonymous said...

I contacted Verizon about the commercial and received this response:

I regret that you found our commercial disturbing or distasteful in any way. It was certainly not our intent to reflect a negative image with our advertisement.

We forward all comments to our Marketing Department for consideration when making future advertising decisions. We appreciate your feedback.

We appreciate your interest in Verizon Wireless products and services. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please reply to this e-mail.


Verizon Wireless
Customer Service

Darlene said...

Thanks for sharing the response you received. It's obviously a form letter with no commitment to get rid of something that is so offensive. How disappointing.

I wish you'd signed your name here. But thanks for writing.

Artie said...

Dear Darlene,

I am honestly very glad you have raised this awareness, our families first dog was a Pitbull whose name was Penny. Penny was a rescued dog my father brought home to us.
She was our sweetheart and baby, but she was extremely protective of each of our family members. Now if “Penny our Pitbull” was such an attack dog, I am certain he would never allow his 1 and 4 year old children to be exposed to such an animal.

Most animals are reflections of their owner, yet there are breeds of dogs that are breed to protect. If the owner encourages this behavior, then you will an aggressive animal.

I now have another rescued dog, whose name just happens to have the same name: Penny. She is a Doberman. Dobermans also have a bad reputation, but my current Penny is even scared to go outside if it’s raining, so much for her breeds reputation for being as an aggressive dog, she just cracks me up.

In regards to the Cell Phone issue, I refuse to have one. My basic reply when I am asked: “How can you survive without a cell phone? I reply, On January 1, 1863, our President Abraham Lincoln signed into law The Emancipation Proclamation.

Personally I rather bond with any kind of animal, because any animal offers only their love, affection and incredible devotion.

A cell phone in my opinion is a shackle, and I prefer my freedom to enjoy my babies.


Darlene said...

Thank you so much for relating your experiences! I really appreciate it, Artie. The dog in the "Our Gang" comedies was a "pitbull" and was obviously depicting a great companion for kids. I've yet to meet a Doberman who didn't want to cuddle with me! So many wonderful dogs get a bad reputation because of bad owners and panic-stricken people who don't understand dogs, probably don't like them and have never known one, and they cause the most trouble. They call the media who are always looking for a "sensational" story. Notice that the news never involves good kids who are helping in their community. That would be a rare report but those kids exist. The old saying in the news business is, "If it bleeds, it leads." Enough said.

Joanne said...

It's terrible the way they portray these dogs. My Boston Terrier has had second looks several times. We live in a province where they recently banned pit bulls. Terribly sad! Good post and nice blog. Thx.

Darlene said...

Thank you for your post, Joanne. The fact that someone would think that Boston Terrier would be looked at is truly absurd.

I'm glad you like my blog. I hope you'll visit again.