Maya the Orangutan & SSE - The Debate Goes On

And this is no bad thing. If it keeps the Orangutans and their plight in the spotlight, bring it on!


  1. Ed Gillespie yesterday published his take on SSE's advert in the Guardian's Environment blog under the heading, "SSE's orangutan ad is deeply manipulative". I think we all agree there. The nature of advertising has always been to manipulate the viewer, convince them that they need what it is being offered from the advertiser above anyone else.
  2. It is telling that the use of Maya - a CGI-generated Orangutan creation by The Mill - has ruffled so many feathers. It puts the questioning of the use of iconic, endangered species for the selling of products front and centre, and at the same time, raises the profile of these magnificent primates and their rainforest home.
  3. I for one am all for it. WHAT?! I hear you say? You who work in conservation, at the heart of the efforts to protect these wonderful apes?
  4. Yes.
  5. Why? Because anything that sparks debate like this is GOOD for the species. People who don't know about the true plight of Maya ask, why are people getting so worked up about a silly advert? Those who are aware, get upset and demand to know why businesses are allowed exploit this imagery without any payback.
  6. And that is where those who work in the conservation sector come in. It is up to us to ensure that the use of such imagery does not go unchecked. To ask the question, what can you do now to make the world better for Maya and her kind as her image has lended your business a little more credibility?
  7. Because the wonder, innocence and beauty of an Orangutan is as credible and genuine as it gets.