Shark dies during Kmart shoot


Wow. Was that the most sensational Adland headline ever? Probably not. Still, the story is true.

In Van Nuys a couple weeks ago, a shark used during a Kmart shoot died.

A 5-foot-long white-tipped shark died March 6 after being shipped from New York to Los Angeles and placed in an above-ground pool in a Van Nuys backyard for a commercial for Kmart, according to a letter sent to the American Humane Assn.

In the L.A. time story though, it points to an interesting squabble between Peta (the people for the ethical treatment of animals, even if we have to kill 1600 dogs and cats like we did last year ) and the American Humane Association whose job is to supervise tv and movie shoots involving animals among a lot of other things.

Sounds like some drams across the board. But it gets worse...

Citing a "whistle-blower" who worked on the commercial, Gallucci said in her letter that the production company, Boxer Films of Los Angeles, had recommended against using a live shark. When the animal died, Kmart asked that a second shark be brought on set, but the production company refused and replaced the animal with an animatronic hippopotamus, Gallucci alleged in her letter.

Yikes. Kind of makes the official statement of condolences and respect for animals from parent holding company Sears seem a bit, what's the word...hollow?

So Peta points fingers. The AHA orders an investigation, and Sears tries damage control.

Question: How long before the ad agency gets some of the blame? Who has Kmart these days? Is it still DraftFCB? I know it was up for review, but it seems like for now they might be the culprits.

about the author

kidsleepy 17 year copywriter, now CD, who has worked in many cities including Pittsburgh, New York, Atlanta, Montreal and currently Los Angeles. I snark because I care. I ain't complainin' I'm just tellin' it like it is.

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