Way back in September 2011, we let you know that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was launching a website called PETA.xxx. The site’s intent was to titillate, and promote animal rights and vegan diets. They planned to feature adults-only content alongside animal rights messaging. It was a logical extension of much of their marketing work, which has featured celebrities posing nude to protest animal fur as clothing, or to promote veganism as an alternative to eating slaughtered animals.
Yes, PETA’s entire modus operandi is to create stunt PR in order to direct attention to their cause. What, sex just being used to draw interest? Shocking! <tongue placed firmly between cheek as I write.>
What makes PETA’s stunts palatable is the fact that they aren’t hoaxes. They aren’t trying to trick you—they’re simply trying to titillate you into heading in their direction.
Go to the PETA.xxx website and you’ll see this direct, transparent message:
“Now that we’ve got your attention: We know that there's more to life than sex and that you have multiple interests. Now it's time to see a few PETA videos considered so "hardcore" and so "offensive" that no TV stations have dared to run them. PETA believes that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way. At PETA, we use every available opportunity to share this message—we always have and always will…”
Like Greenpeace, PETA is an activist organization which believes that getting your attention—by any means necessary, is an excellent strategy to garner media and consumer attention. We think both organizations do a very good job at achieving these goals. They’re not trying to “trick” anyone with their efforts, they’re just trying to draw attention to the causes they espouse.
The PETA.xxx website launched in June 2012 with a mix of titillating porn and shocking images of animal cruelty. After watching the salacious video or eyeballing sexy photos, visitors were confronted with disturbing images of animal cruelty. Today, it appears that the porn is gone (replaced with just the videos of animal cruelty. Gone too is the PETA.xxx stand-alone domain which now redirects you to a PETA.org landing page. All that said—the message still remains—“now that we’ve got your attention…”