A trunk and disorderly way to behave?

More than once since it first discovered the weird and wonderful world of pubs, the Diary has seen, “in the extremity of his ecstasy, blue mice and pink elephants”, as Jack London put it.

A new ad for Bombay Sapphire gin, a Diary favourite, picks up on this theme and features an Asian elephant, albeit grey, picking its way though a room full of glasses, walking up a staircase and dropping some olives into a glass of the spirit.

Maya, the elephant in question, was filmed against a green screen and, viewers will be shocked to learn, the room of glasses and staircase were added later.

However the ad, produced by New York agency Sugartown Creative, has incurred the wrath of charity Animal Defenders International (ADI), which has criticised the agency and Bacardi-Martini for using a circus animal.

ADI chief executive Jan Creamer says: “The Bombay Sapphire ad is a disgrace. It’s basically an elephant doing an archaic circus routine on command and then a background has been added later.”

However the Diary agrees with some of ADI’s comments; special effects mean that you can no longer believe what you see on the screen, and can it be hygienic for elephants to keep olives in their trunks?Despite the criticism about using a circus animal Bacardi-Martini insists that the animal had been treated in a “respectful, dignified and humane manner”.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here