A television commercial for Apple computers featuring controversial Jenifer Graham of Victorville has been pulled off the air.
The 30-second commercial has been “taken out of rotation,” Bruce Mowery, Apple director of marketing and communications, confirmed Monday. He said the decision was made last week.
Graham, 16, is the Victor Valley High School junior and animal-rights activist whose refusal last spring to dissect a frog in a biology class on moral grounds attracted national attention. School officials lowered Graham’s “A” grade to “B” after rejecting her request to satisfy the course requirements with an alternative method of study, such as a simulated dissection program that can be used on a computer. Graham is suing the Victor Valley Union High School District, asking for restoration of her grade.
Apple’s decision to withdraw the commercial “had nothing to do with the commercial per se or any of the controversy surrounding the commercial,” Mowery said.
Mowery had said last week that Apple planned to continue running the Graham spot through “the Christmas season.” Asked why Apple apparently had changed its plans, he replied that no plans were changed. “We did run it through the Christmas season. October and November are our Christmas season,” he said.
Asked when Apple’s Christmas season ended, he replied: “Christmas Day.”
Patricia Graham, Jenifer’s mother, said she was told by Sharon Lack, manager of Apple’s advertising, sales and promotion group, that the commercial was withdrawn “because people were perceiving Apple as taking a stance on dissection.”
BBDO, the advertising agency that created the commercial, declined to comment.
The commercial has been running nationally for several weeks, showing Graham in a laboratory setting as she reviews her case beside an Apple computer showing Apple’s “Operation Frog” pathology program.