Thursday, August 27, 1998
By CHRIS CLAIR
When members of the Chicago Animal Rights Coalition showed up in Rolling Meadows Wednesday to talk with Pepsi officials about advertising in bullfighting arenas in Mexico , they were politely told to make an appointment.
Chicago Animal Rights Coalition member Steve Hindi said afterward his group had protested cruelty toward animals at rodeos, turkey shoots and other events, but bullfighting was the worse animal abuse he’d seen.
Hindi was joined by Greg and Terri Campbell. Together the three stood outside Pepsi’s Crossroads of Commerce Drive headquarters holding posterboards with graphic photos of bloody bullfighting scenes. In each one a Pepsi advertisement was visible.
The group also showed a video tape of bullfighting on a nearby monitor.
In a letter to Hindi, Christine Jones, Pepsi’s group manager for consumer relations at the company’s Somers , N.Y. office, said Pepsi’s signage at arenas in Mexico should not be considered an endorsement of bullfighting.
“We do not contribute funding, nor do we sponsor bullfighting events,” Jones wrote.
“And you can be certain that as a company we would never condone cruelty toward animals.”
But Hindi said he believes Pepsi’s advertisements are clearly aimed at bullfighting fans. he said his group will continue to spread its message to distributors and consumers until Pepsi pulls its ads out of the arenas.
“There’s no question that Pepsi is going to get out of bullfighting,” Hindi said.
“The only question is how bad they’ll get hurt before they do.”