A QUEENSLAND burger chain has been called “disgusting” and “pathetic” after launching an advertising campaign for its new burger delivery service featuring a male doctor “delivering” a burger from between a woman’s legs.
Burger Urge, a chain of 16 restaurants around Queensland, posted photos of the signs on social media last week and out the front of residential properties. The sign says: “We deliver! Burgers to your door”.
Social media users took to the Burger Urge Facebook page and slammed the posters.
“Seriously? That does not make me want to eat a burger! You could come up with something smarter than that!” one woman commented on Facebook.
Another wrote: “Why do companies have to stoop to these levels to advertise???. This is a disgrace. Shame on you Burger Urge.”
Some even called for customers to boycott all Burger Urge stores and for the campaign to be pulled.
Burger Urge managing director Sean Carthew defended the “creative marketing approach” and says the campaign is working.
“I can see how people may have misconstrued the ads as inappropriate, but for every complaint on Facebook we’ve had 10 comments saying ‘This is fun and people need to lighten up’.
“We’ve seen a big jump in our delivery customers in the week and a half since the campaign came out,” Mr Carthew told news.com.au.
He says the restaurant chain didn’t intend to offend or objectify women.
“Our whole marketing team is female and our in house designer is female. Nobody came back to me and said ‘You can’t do this, it’s outrageous’. Everyone has seen the fun in it,” he said.
But activist group Collective Shout, which names and shames “offensive and harmful” marketing and advertising material, has criticised the campaign.
“Hi Burger Urge. This type of exploitative advertising is harmful to society and we would like to invite you to sign our Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge. Please drop us a line to discuss,” the group wrote on Burger Urge’s Facebook page.
The pledge is a “statement of intention by an organisation to be respectful of women and girls in advertising and marketing.”
Australia’s appetite for burgers has become insatiable and the market is crowded.
The huge queues at the In-N-Out pop-up store in Sydney earlier this year and the launch of Australia’s first Carl’s Jr restaurant on the NSW central coast sent burger fans into a frenzy.
Mr Carthew says it’s challenging for a small chain like Burger Urge to compete.
“The space that we’re competing in is very crowded and to get advertising to cut through is incredibly challenging, particularly when you’re a small business and you have a smaller budget,” he said.