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Taxing the Call of the Wild

Does Puma’s cat or Geico’s gecko deserve a royalty?

The upstart Animal Copyright Foundation wants all companies that use images of animals in their marketing to donate 1 percent of their ad budget to support animal rights. Founder Gregory Colbert, a renowned Canadian photographer (, says he'll organize a team of bloggers to harass companies that don't pay up. He hopes to raise millions a year in donations. Judy Wicks, who runs the White Dog Café in Philadelphia, is cool on the idea. "Why shouldn't I just give my money to the groups I want directly?" she asks. Below, some other perspectives.

Vineyard Vines

Logo: A pink whale

Stamford, Connecticut
Designs neckties and other dandy apparel

Estimated donation:* $500

View: "I'd consider it, since the whale has been so critical to Martha's Vineyard, where we got started," says co-founder Shep Murray.

Little Moose Press

Logo: A horned moose

Santa Barbara, California
Publishes books

Estimated donation: $200

View: "I'm generous, but I don't like people forcing me to do anything," says owner Ellen Reid. "Plus, I don't like the idea of people knowing how much I am giving."

Ecko Unlimited

Logo: A rhinoceros

New York City
Designs urban apparel

Estimated donation: $50,000

View: "We donate much more than 1 percent of our annual ad budget toward rhino relief--more than $250,000 over the past two years," says a spokesman.

*Estimated donation is equal to roughly 1 percent of a company's annual advertising budget

Last updated: May 1, 2006


Darren Dahl is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

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