Burger King Is Telling a Whopper
By: Andrea Trapani
When does an apparent PR gaffe become a publicity stunt?
Burger King is currently “embroiled” in controversy surrounding their new ad campaign, profiling “whopper virgins” from third-world-like countries, where real hunger exists, displaying an unsettling lack of sensitivity to poverty and hunger around the world.
The problem, critics contend, is that Burger King doesn’t acknowledge the hunger that exists in some of the areas where the ads were filmed.
In Thailand, for instance, a good 30 percent of the people live in poverty and would never be able to afford a hamburger.
But is BK simply having it their way?
Really. Are we to believe that exactly no one involved in the conception, creation or approval of these ads was so clairvoyant as to foresee the criticism such a campaign would evoke? Especially in our PC-obsessed society? Every single corporate muckity-muck, and every slick creative involved was tone deaf to the forthcoming backlash?
Or is it more likely that both the creative firm and the executives who commissioned the ad knew exactly what they were getting into, and simply didn’t care? I suspect, moreover, that they knew precisely what kind of publicity this campaign would generate, and they relished it.
And now they’re in a pickle.
Unfortunate puns ending in 3….2….(cheesy!)…1.