September 24, 2019
David H. Long, Chairman and CEO
Liberty Mutual Insurance
175 Berkeley Street
Boston, MA 02116
Dear Mr. Long:
I am writing to ask you to please eliminate your commercials featuring emus. I am asking you to stop making commercials that degrade and demean these birds. I had enjoyed your previous TV ads, but the ads with emus wearing sunglasses and other ugly accoutrements are not amusing. They are deeply unkind and offensive toward these birds who, with ostriches, belong to the oldest living family of birds on earth.
Scenes in your ads show distressed and disoriented emus in circumstances in which they cannot see properly or defend themselves. One ad shows an emu in a car when a loud bang occurs, and the emu’s voice expresses the bird’s fear and distress. Knowing how cruelly animals typically are treated behind the scenes of these types of ads, I wonder what kinds of things are being done to the birds you are using to force them to behave unnaturally in contrived situations they do not understand.
Emus are gentle, friendly, fleet-footed, desert-dwelling birds with a strong family life in which both parents participate in nest-building and raising their young. Emu families stay together for 10 months or more as the young birds learn to fend for themselves in response to their parents’ teachings. These birds do not deserve to be belittled and abused by your company. Liberty Mutual has already shown it can make appealing ads without dragging helpless animals into situations where they do not belong.
Our organization currently has a workers compensation policy with Liberty Mutual Insurance. If you do not pull these emu ads permanently, we are not going to renew with you. I am ashamed and disgusted every time one of your emu ads appears on television. They are horrible, irresponsible public messages.
Please advise me at your earliest convenience what you intend to do about your emu commercials. I am counting on you to do the right thing.
Thank you for your attention. I look forward to your response as soon as possible.
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns
12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
United Poultry Concerns is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org
Federal ID: 52-1705678