PETA, The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has actor Zac Efron and the pancake company Kodiak Cakes in their sights, and they are criticizing both about an ad campaign for the company that features Efron alongside a bear that has been in captivity his whole life.
Zac Efron was advertising Kodiak Cakes, for whom he is a recent spokesperson and brand officer. In the ad, the actor is seen interacting with Tank the bear. The interactions are relatively harmless, but PETA and its foundation’s director of Captive Animal Welfare, Debbie Metzler, were quick to blast the ad because Efron should recognize that bears belong with their families and not on screen. She also urged the actor to “come down to earth.” You can check out the two Kodiak Cakes ads below!
PETA sent a letter to Kodiak Cakes CEO Joel Clark “urging him to pull the plug on the new advertising campaign featuring the company’s chief brand officer, Zac Efron, and a bear named Tank.” According to PETA, Tank was “traumatically” taken from his mother as a young cub and was immediately put under the care of Hollywood trainer and Vital Ground Foundation co-founder Doug Seus. Tank has also appeared in movies such as Dr. Doolittle 2 and We Bought a Zoo. PETA has always been strongly against the use of wild animals for entertainment to this recent criticism comes as no surprise.
Neither Kodiak Cakes nor Zac Efron has spoken out on the matter. In fact, Kodiak Cakes posted another video of Efron with Thank the bear on its LinkedIn account a few hours after PETA went public with its letter and concerns. Zac Efron became the chief brand officer and a company shareholder of Kodiak Cakes back in June. Started in 1982, Kodiak Cakes is based in Park City, Utah, and they sell graham crackers, protein balls, oatmeal, syrups, and more.