Tiger Woods and PETA: The Big Breakup

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Tiger and his alleged mistresses. I'm already humming the Brady Bunch theme in my head
I have got a lot of problems with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Aside from the fact that I simply disagree with them on almost every key issue in their agenda, I think they are a bunch of militant, half-crazy extremists milking a very nice operating budget from the pockets of guilty liberals who'd rather make a donation than get their hands dirty. They recruit and prosthelytize like Mormon missionaries, have raised factual distortion and radical bias to the level of Olympic sport, can manage to show remarkable hypocrisy, misogyny and epic insensitivity all in the space of a single logo or billboard campaign (no small feat) and their founder, Ingrid Newkirk, is just flat-out double-batshit nuts.

BUT (and this is a big but), I do so dearly love the cranks, hacks, geniuses and brilliant psychopaths in their publicity and propaganda department. These are guys (and girls and, one would assume, chimps and lemurs and sea lions and what-not) who have essentially been given the keys to the candy store--told to do whatever they can and whatever they want, with zero sense of morality or common decency, to raise the profile of PETA in the public consciousness. They have put naked, pregnant women in cages on the streets of London, have handed out unbelievably disturbing anti-fur comic books to children waiting in line to see The Nutcracker over Christmas and compared factory farming to the holocaust by putting up billboards with pictures of concentration camp victims on the street.

In Germany.

Nice...

But this week, PETA's ad boys finally met a force that even they couldn't match: Tiger Woods's lawyers. Here's what happened.

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The proposed billboard
See that? That's the billboard campaign that PETA was planning to run down in Windermere, Florida as recently as a few days ago. And really, as far as PETA ads go, this one was incredibly tame. No one was calling anyone a Nazi, Tiger wasn't naked or fellating an endangered goat. Good clean fun, right? And pretty clever, too.

But apparently, Woods's crack team of legal commandos saw the same Orlando Sentinel story about the billboard I did and reached out to PETA, saying, in essence, No Fucking Way. According to the New York Post, "Lawyers for the horndog golfer threatened to sue the activists if they used his once-valuable image in their campaign urging owners to neuter their pets." And what did PETA do? They backed off.

Kinda.

See, this is why the advertising team at PETA is brilliant. They must've known that Woods's law-dogs would be on to them as soon as this story broke. And they must've known that the very first tactic they'd try would be a simple cease-and-desist. Anyone who believes that PETA would be stopped from doing anything it wanted to do by an opening volley of desist orders is mental to start, so this must all have been part of the strategy from the start. Thus, as with so many of PETA's campaigns, there never was any real intention of buying any actual billboard space in Florida. From day one (all of a week ago), the plan was to merely announce the billboard, wait for Woods's lawyers to raise a stink, then release a statement to every news organization on earth saying that their billboard "campaign" had been wrecked by Tiger Woods, knowing full well that now, rather than just having one billboard in Florida, they were going to be getting ink in newspapers, magazines and on blogs (like this one) all over the world.

Want further proof? Well, other than the fact that they've done this kind of thing before, they already had a second campaign ready to go the minute the Woods idea went tits-up. Their new poster boy? Embattled South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford. Allegedly, the text for his billboard is supposed to read: "Your Dog Doesn't Have To Go To South America To Get Laid," followed by the appeal for spaying and neutering your pets.

Any minute now, the cease-and-desist from Sanford's legal team ought to be filed, and then PETA will just move on to Plan C--pushing this quote/unquote campaign for every column-inch and drop of ink they can get out of it. Although, now that I think about it, Sanford's lawyers might have some other, bigger things on their minds. So what will PETA's Ministry of Propaganda do if no one comes forward to try and "stop" them from moving forward with their Sanford ad?

Certainly not buy a billboard. That would cost money (like their bogus Super Bowl ads that were never meant to see broadcast). But that's okay. Because I really do like those crazies over in the PETA ad department, I've decided to help out with a couple other low-cost ideas to see them through until the next scandal breaks.

Like how 'bout renting out space on church billboards? That can't cost too much.

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Or since you guys are already so hot for converting children to your crusade, how 'bout making the little bastards work a little?

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Better still, why not just engage all those bleeding-heart college girls directly and have them bring your message straight to the masses.

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But hey, these are only to be used in case of emergency. Like if Governor Sanford's lawyers don't call. And I'm sure they will.

Seriously, any minute now...

 
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