Burger joint Carl's Jr, which is franchised in New Zealand by Restaurant Brands, is weighing up its options after a salacious ad for its Memphis BBQ Burger was banned from the air by advertising watchdogs.
Restaurant Brands says it made two approaches to the Commercial Approvals Buraeu (CAB), a broadcasting industry self-regulatory body that approves advertising, and both were declined. The ad was also shot down by the Adversiting Standards Authority, says the company.
A spokesperson for Restaurant Brands describes the ad in question thusly: "The 30 second commercial takes place at a bustling Southern BBQ Festival and features a blonde and a brunette facing off over a BBQ pit for room to grill their goods - burgers and pulled pork. "
Russel Creedy, CEO of Restaurant Brands, says the fast food company appealed to the two advertising authorities on the grounds that the ads would only be played during AO programming after 8:30pm, adding that many of those programmes feature much more explicit content than the burger ad. But the ad, which has aired in the US and Mexico, didn't get the tick as it used "sexual appeal in an exploitative and degrading manner as well as using sex to sell an unrelated product".
"In our view the ban on this ad is outdated and out of touch with other television content," says Creedy.
Unable to infiltrate our airwaves, and unable to recreate the expensive ads to New Zealand standards, Creedy says Restaurant Brands will use social media and other mediums to advertise its new product. TV still rules in New Zealand when you want mass exposure, and, in a story in the Herald, Coriolis retail analyst Tim Morris questioned whether social media would be effective enough for the brand, whipping out one of the best social media quotes we've ever heard.
"Every ad agency and its dog is out there selling social media but does it actually do anything? It's like wetting yourself in a dark suit - you get a warm feeling but no one notices."
In the meantime, says Creedy, it's "going ahead with online platforms to anchor the campaign, which are particularly relevant for our Carl’s Jr. customers. We’ll also advertise the product on bus shelters and billboards."
Restaurant Brands has already put the ad up on YouTube, which currently has around 250 views.
This isn't the first time a burger ad has been axed for being a bit too risque. In 2007, Burger King was grilled for its commercial featuring three girls in bikinis riding a horse.
So ad people of StopPressia, what do you think of the Carl's Jr ad? A bit of harmless fun or a bit of harmful exploitation?