PETA’s, to be honest, fairly odious campaign to have fish renamed as ‘sea kittens’ has generated a lot of publicity for the organisation; they are masters of the art of whipping up controversy with their PR stunts (see here for a rundown), so it’s hardly surprising.
It’s a deeply stupid idea:
Would people think twice about ordering fish sticks if they were called sea kitten sticks? Would sea kitten soufflé be a hot seller at the local seafood restaurant? Does fillet o’ sea kitten sound even remotely appetizing?
and, while the campaign has a high profile, it doesn’t seem to be garnering much support – just over six thousand people have signed a petition for the name change. The intention, presumably, is to be provocative, but the problem with this kind of provocation is that more often than not, people fail to see any worth in the message because they’re rolled their eyes to heaven already. Anyone who doesn’t give up at this stage will probably just provoke right back (the nyer nyer dialectic) and sure enough, a couple of pranksters have registered the domain name seakittens.com and mocked up the site to look exactly like PETA’s Save the Sea Kittens page, but with an ad for Omaha steaks in the banner. The stunt was professional enough to take in AdAge,the Wall Street Journal (‘We looked at SeaKittens.com today and found atop the page an ad for Omaha Steaks. To our mind, steak is a much better argument against eating fish than kittens are’) and Silicon Alley Insider, for a couple of hours anyway.