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Will ‘Booty’ Block Burger King’s Business?

Meat isn’t the only thing being flame-broiled at Burger King this week. Their public relations team is dealing with their own whopper—public outrage over not one, but two ads.

Intended for adult audiences, their most recent ad pairs Sir Mix-A-Lot with Sir Sponge Bob (of Square Pants fame) in promotion of their Kids’ Meal through a revamped version of the one-hit-wonder, ‘Baby Got Back.’ As Rolling Stone soundly suggests, “a video once deemed too sexual for primetime TV is now being used to sell hamburgers to children.”

Meanwhile, their global “Texican” ad proved a full-blown assault on taste. Reuters reports they’ve pulled an “advertisement featuring a squat Mexican draped in his country’s flag next to a tall American cowboy and said it would change the campaign.”

Burger King’s advertising recipe has long relied on more than a cup of controversy, it’s the base ingredient. But, have we entered an era where advertising doesn’t simply equal attention? Provoking just to poke was once a sound advertising strategy. But in an era where a multi-million dollar campaign can crumble under the powerful consumer pressure of Twitter, YouTube, or any of the growing number of consumer mouthpieces, is inspiring ire still the correct choice for a campaign?


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