BY LISA BIANK FASIG and MARIE McCAIN
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Two protesters with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were arrested Wednesday in front of the home of Procter & Gamble chief John Pepper after passing out fliers critical of the Cincinnati company.
Charged with misdemeanor distribution of advertising - literature without a permit, the men each paid $130 fines and were released. Police identified the pair as Michael James Scarpitti, 24, Cincinnati, and Jason Edward Baker, 26, Detroit.
Four members of the animal-welfare group, which has publicly questioned P&G's product-testing methods, hung an estimated 75 fliers in the Wyoming neighborhood that includes the home of Mr. Pepper. The door-hangar fliers, resembling bottles of P&G's Mr. Clean product, carried Mr. Pepper's face superimposed on the detergent character. The fliers read: "Mr. Mean. John Pepper Clean Up Your Act . . . Procter & Gamble Poisons Animals."
The Pepper family wasn't home during the noontime demonstration, which lasted less than an hour.
"PETA believes John Pepper has the ability to stop P&G testing on animals right now," Mr. Baker, PETA's Cincinnati campaign coordinator, said.
Procter spokeswoman Mindy Montgomery Patton said the consumer products maker has reduced animal testing by 85 percent since 1984. More than 80 percent of that testing is required by law.
This is not the first time PETA has made a personal attack on Mr. Pepper.
In February, PETA advocate Melinda Duvall ambushed Mr. Pepper and struck him in the face with a tofu cream pie. P&G's top executive was in Columbus at an awards dinner and was about to accept an award from Gov. George Voinovich when Ms. Duvall hit him with the pie.