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No Tigers for the Macan

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The North American branch of Porsche recently put out a statement asking its dealers to please please please not use live tigers to promote the new Macan. The Macan (which is the Indonesian word for tiger) is Porsche’s new mid-sized crossover that goes on sale later this month. Big Cat Rescue apparently spoke out against a particular dealer, Reeves Import Motorcars, which brought live tiger cubs to a promotion event earlier this week. The very next day PETA did the same, after asking the dealer itself to stop the promotion event. When they received no response from the dealer, both groups reached out to Porsche which was willing to talk. Both Big Cat Rescue and Peta are very happy with how Porsche handled the situation and even put out a statement encouraging their supporters to go buy a Porsche.

Big Cat Rescue looked into the Macan across the country and found several other dealers planning on bringing live tigers to promotion events. A general manager of Leith Porsche, a dealer who had been planning  on having tigers at their Macan event on Thursday explained, “We first wanted to give notoriety to the animal and what it stands for, but when we spoke to PETA and found out about the transportation and poor treatment … it was not something we wanted to be a part of.”

I just thought that this fit very well with what the speaker today had to say about advertising. The Porsche dealers were thinking about ways of extreme advertising, how they could get into people’s faces and memories. That only got them so far; it was working with a charity and doing something good that got them notoriety and a shout out from PETA. I hadn’t heard about them using live tigers, but when they put out a statement condemning it, I clicked on the article. We will see if this whole drama helps or hurts Macan sales in the end.



  1. Jier Qiu
    Jier Qiu

    Despite the ethical issues here, I actually think this is a good idea. I saw this a few days ago and read about it. People were saying the tiger cub was a big hit during the Macan launch party. During the event, the extincting fact of tigers was being conveyed and money was raised to help conservation. Also, the tigers do not belong to Porsche; they belong to an entity that provides Porsche with these animals to raise awareness. I don’t really understand why PETA is pointing figer at Porsche instead of the owner of the tigers.

    May 15, 2014
    • Louisa Ortiz
      Louisa Ortiz

      Big Cat Rescue points out that Dade City’s Wild Things, the company providing the tiger cubs is not a tiger rescue program, nor is it a sanctuary for rescued tigers. All of the tigers are born in captivity. From what I can see I don’t the think that Wild Things treats their cats poorly but I think PETA and Big Cat Rescue just has a problem with keeping these large, roaming, wild animals confined for their entire lives. As far as PETA condemning Porsche and not Wild Things I think PETA’s point is that where there is a market, there will be a business. PETA is just trying to limit the market.

      May 15, 2014
  2. reed

    PETA exists solely to complain any time animals interact with humans. I’m all for treating animals well and not abusing them, but PETA has a track record of overreacting to any commercial use of animals. I can’t help but wonder if this is another one of those times.

    May 15, 2014
  3. heardd16

    No doubt this is a good marketing tool. Who would not want to go see baby tiger cubs while looking a cool new car? However I suppose it is justifiable that these organizations got involved since displaying endangered animals for marketing purposes certainly raises ethical questions.

    May 15, 2014
  4. Kade Kenlon
    Kade Kenlon

    To Jier, the reason they went after Porsche instead of the owners of the tigers is because nobody knows the owners of the tigers. PETA is trying to make themselves known. By going after a well known company, they draw a lot more attention.

    May 16, 2014
  5. And if tigers aren’t kept in captivity, surely they will go extinct. Habitat continues to shrink, and the (illegal) Chinese medicine trade means poaching is pervasive. Now the commercial use of tigers (pun intended) should make it less costly to keep them alive. So contrary to PETA, if we start thinking about this as economists, this a win-win – a good marketing story for cars, a good marketing story for tigers. And the tigers need it more than Porsche does.

    May 19, 2014

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