A nervous Burger King has pulled a controversial poster campaign
launched this week after criticism in the national press.
The fast food giant launched the posters on Monday morning outside the
north London headquarters of McDonald’s, in what was meant to be an
aggressive attack on its arch rival.
The posters were created by Ammirati Puris Lintas and were designed to
run solely in the UK. Two executions, ’’king tasty’ and ’clever
burgers’, attracted attention in Tuesday’s national press, with the
Express and the Daily Star predicting massive complaints about the
obscene undertones to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Then, in a bizarre twist, a hoax call was made to Burger King’s poster
contractor, Posterscope, stating that the ASA had ordered the removal of
both posters. Caroline Crawford, the ASA’s communications director,
explained: ’Someone contacted Burger King through its poster agency
instructing it to black out the campaign. We gave no such
She continued: ’However, we always welcome companies being responsive to
apparent misinterpretations of their advertising.’
Despite the lack of complaints and the absence of an ASA ban, sources
say Burger King has taken it upon itself to remove the ads because of
misgivings at its parent company, Diageo. The ’’king tasty’ and ’clever
burgers’ executions were being withdrawn this week.
However, a Burger King spokeswoman denied the U-turn was a response to
the press controversy or the hoax call, insisting Burger King’s media
strategy had always been to rotate its ads.
She said. ’This is a very fast-moving rotation campaign. In our next
stage we will be focusing greater attention on McDonald’s. There will be
more work on Monday with TV and radio ads.’
No-one at APL was available for comment. Burger King moved its
advertising account from DMB&B to APL last February.