An animal display planned for a "Most Interesting Man in the World"–themed party in Los Angeles this week was canceled after PETA voiced concerns about how the creatures would be treated.
The party, scheduled for Tuesday at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westlake, will go on, but without a planned display of alligators, hawks, and owls, animal rights group PETA announced today.
The event was part of Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World marketing campaign.
As part of the brewery's story line, the character played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith is heading to Mars, and Dos Equis is auctioning off items used in its Most Interesting Man commercials to celebrate.
"He has left his worldly possessions behind to help fans celebrate the most interesting Cinco de Mayo yet," reads an invite to the party. "Join Dos Equis to salute the man who made interesting more interesting at an exclusive event where you’ll have a chance to win items from his Coveted Collection of Artifacts."
The invitation is a bit cryptic and doesn't mention the animal display. A PETA spokesman confirmed that the event in question is the one at the Park Plaza tomorrow, though Dos Equis had scheduled similar parties in Dallas, Austin, Houston, Albuquerque and Phoenix.
Interestingly, the invite does say that it's giving proceeds from multiple Most Interesting Man actions to "the Impact Plan's mission to rehabilitate endangered animals in East Africa through the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust" and to "the Impact Plan's continued mission to rebuild Himalayan villages in Nepal."
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PETA somehow found out about the display and pressured Heineken, Dos Equis' U.S. importer, to nix it. Now PETA is offering "a toast to Heinenken!," according to today's announcement. (Hmm. He scratches his chin as conspiracy theories about publicity-driven fake stories fill a reporter's head....)
"Less than 24 hours after PETA pointed out that alligators, hawks and owls — the animals planned to be used for the event — can experience extreme stress, injury and even death when confined to tiny cages, thrust into unnatural environments, bombarded with bright lights and loud sounds and publicly handled, Heineken pulled plans for the display, explaining, 'Animal safety is of the utmost importance to us, and we would never engage in an activity that would put any animal in harm's way,'" the animal rights group said in a statement.
Heineken noted that its own marketing code requires the company to be "respectful of animals," PETA said.
"The Most Interesting Man in the World may also be the kindest," says PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman. "We'll be drinking Heineken at PETA's next staff meeting in honor of the brand's commitment to partying responsibly where animals are concerned."