Skechers Swaps Kardashian for Canine in Super Bowl Spot, and Critics Still Find Reason to Bark

An unscientific study of online comments regarding shoe company Skechers replacing Kim Kardashian with a bulldog for its Super Bowl ad this year finds that much of the public is not broken up about it.

The consensus is that after Kardashian's short-lived, reality-TV-driven marriage to New Jersey Net Kris Humphries, her 20 minutes of fame should end. Comments ranged from the snarky, "So they upgraded the talent…" to matter of fact, "Good choice. The Kards need to go away!"

In 2011, Kardashian starred in a racy Skechers' Super Bowl ad that drew a lot of attention. The announcement that this year a bulldog would be wearing Skechers' new GOrun high-tech shoes—and not Kardashian—created a lot of buzz, but not all of it was positive. The new ad, which features Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, shows the bulldog racing a pack of greyhounds, drawing the ire of animal rights group Grey2k, which contends racing greyhounds are mistreated. The group has petitioned to get the Skechers ad axed for Super Bowl Sunday.

Skechers' cred in the controversy couldn't have been helped by the "sensitive" statement of Tom Taylor, CEO of Tucson Greyhound Park, where the TV spot was filmed: "Animal activists would like the (dogs') cages to be 12 feet by 12 feet, with couches and TVs." Skechers defended itself with an unremarkable statement by Leonard Armato, president of Skechers Fitness, who said Grey2K's complaints are unrelated to the purpose of the ad: "The spot does not glamorize dog racing," he says. "It is simply a metaphor for a remarkable, underdog achievement."

What was Skechers thinking as it planned this ad in a post-Michael Vick/dogfighting world?

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