Enjoy a Corona with that bloody gore

Posted by: Burth Helm on September 18, 2006

My colleague Alex Halperin, a reporter for BusinessWeek.com, recently took in a bullfight while on vacation in Mexico. He ended up seeing a couple of unsavory brand placements along with it. Domino’s Pizza and Corona each had uniformed vendors working the crowd at Plaza Mexico, the stadium in Mexico City.

blog bullfight pic.jpg


Halperin wrote me: “After one bullfight the crowd called ‘oreja’ — meaning that the teenage matador should be awarded the bull’s sawed off ear as a trophy. He got it. It’s not a nice mental image to go along with chomping on a slice of Domino’s pepperoni.” Halperin also pointed out that it’s ironic that Anheuser-Busch, which owns half of Corona parent Grupo Modelo, trumpets its contributions to animal welfare through Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.

I’m surprised these companies haven’t yet drawn the ire of PETA, frankly. But I imagine that Domino’s and Corona figure that if you’re at a bullfight, you’re ok with the violence (and, subsequently, that all that bull-goring is working up your appetite for a slice and a brew). And after all, bullfighting is legal in Mexico.

But shouldn’t brands draw a line somewhere? Cockfighting is legal in Mexico too. What American marketer or ad agency would go near cockfighting? Oh right, Coca-Cola did. Forgot about that one. Hey PETA, where are you on this stuff?

Reader Comments

Andres B

September 26, 2006 3:31 AM

Why PETA? To MichaelMoorize some nonexistent issue? I really think PETA has nothing to do/say/think here (and nowhere, if you ask me).

The animals used in bullfighting are PRODUCED exclusively for this. As others are produced to be chopped and sold in supermarkets.

The same way you don't ask the slaughterhouses to provide shrink appointments or confession prior to killing the animals, please let bullfighting alone, nothing happens there, just a couple dead bulls.

Maurice E

September 27, 2006 11:00 PM

You are so right Burt. What is really troubling and sad however is to read the justification by people like Andres who rationalize this cruel and inhumane torture of an animal by stating that they are "PRODUCED" for this. As if he is describing a piece of wood rather than a suffering animal bred for the sole purpose of satisfaying a blood thirsty mob. How ironic that the very people who were slaughtered by the conquistas "honor" their conquorers by continuing this pitifull "tradition".

Andres B

October 2, 2006 8:45 PM

Maurice, I'm not mexican, I'm from Argentina and we don't have bullfighting there, so it's not a part of my worldview. I live in Mexico and I never went to a bullfighting show, but I'd gladly go.

I just don't have problems with animals being treated like animals.

Let's be clear: if I see a child torturing a kitten, I'll stop him. But I wouldn't keep a bullfighter from performing. As I will never ask my lawn if it wants to talk to a priest before I mow it. There are some boundaries that it's better not to cross.

The core of the question and my reaction to the article is:

- Do I care about the stress the bulls and horses are subjected to in bullfighting? Maybe.
- SHOULD I care about that? I think not.
- Should any organization annoy bullfighting sponsors to withdraw their money? NEVER.

Chris Dyke

June 23, 2009 12:20 PM

"As I will never ask my lawn if it wants to talk to a priest before I mow it."

Are you suggesting, Andres B, that grass has the same sentient characteristcs as a Bull?

I'd be interested to hear your definition of an Animal. If i'm not mistaken you and I are part of that group along with the Bull and the Horse.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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