Lincoln Park Zoo primatologist Stephen Ross says by using the chimps in marketing schemes, advertisers are offering the incorrect perception that the animals are not an endangered species, The Independent reported Saturday.
"What is perceived to be harmless fun really has serious consequences. The most common reason why people thought that chimps were not in the endangered species category is because they were seen on television, advertisements and movies and must therefore not be in jeopardy," Ross said.
Research by leading scientists, who include noted primatologist Jane Goodall, has already caused the journal Science to remove all chimp-based advertisements from the publication.
Ross told The Independent the process of using the primates for marketing also means many of them are taken away from their families early on and forced into a very unnatural life.