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Mental Illness and Burger King’s Offensive Ad April 22, 2010

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

In the year 2010, we’re now using mental illness to sell merchandise in the mainstream, mega-bucks fast food industry.  The latest ad by Burger King is the most offensive I’ve ever seen regarding its portrayal of people with mental illness. Although this same company wouldn’t be caught dead denigrating other minority populations, it’s apparently open season on the mentally ill.

Admittedly, the King, of Burger King fame, has always been off the wall in his approach to everything. But this time he’s out-done himself. The beginning of the offending ad has him crashing through an office window, shattering glass and being chased by two people in white uniforms who eventually tackle and restrain him (a la straight jacket) as they shout “The King’s insane!”.  It’s clear that he’s being involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Right before he’s completely immobilized, he manages to hand a hamburger to an office worker, who then says to the two in white, “You’re the ones who are nuts.”

When I first saw this ad, I was in shock. The ad went by fairly quickly, so I took a deep breath, convincing myself that I must have misunderstood it.  I let it go, until the next time I saw the ad. Then I realized: I hadn’t imagined it.  The King was being  involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. And the situation was being played as a pitch to sell more hamburgers!  Unbelievable!

Mortified,  I expected that somehow someone somewhere, either a whole bunch of private citizens or a national group of some sort, would contact Burger King and convince them to pull the socially unacceptable ad, much like they’d pull an ad were it offensive to any other minority population.

And so I wasn’t surprised to hear that both National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America, two excellent consortium groups, tried to reason with Burger King, explaining why the ad was offensive and requesting that Burger King pull that ad. Response?

According to the Washington Post , Burger King released the following statement: “The creative concepts used to bring this to life were meant to highlight the king’s unchecked enthusiasm about giving his guests a Steakhouse-quality sandwich at a great price and were not intended to reflect any group or situation.”

Yeah, right.

You can read the entire article (and view the ad) at. http://www.myfoxny.com/dpps/news/dpgoh-burger-king-commerical-insane-or-offensive-fc-20100409_6989888



1. BowlingJoe - April 23, 2010

I thought the same thing when I saw the commercial. And as as side note, Burger King needs to dump the King just on general principle. He gives me the creeps. Even more than clowns and circus carnies do.

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