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Banning Burger King’s ‘Misleading’ Burger Adverts Is No Excuse for Bad Whopper Jokes

The Advertising Standards Authority says the Rebel Whopper campaign ill-informed vegetarians and vegans alike

Burger King’s Rebel Whopper vegetarian burger, which is not fake meat or vegan Burger King [Official Photo]

Burger King’s Rebel Whopper has to follow the rules like everyone else

Burger King’s daring foray into advertising burgers using category error is over, after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the brand’s ads for the “plant-based” Rebel Whopper. The ASA said that social media posts — which accurately referred to the burger as plant-based — could have misled vegans into believing it was suitable for them: “The green colour palette and the timing of the ad and product release to coincide with ‘Veganuary’ contributed further to the impression that the product was suitable for vegans and vegetarians.”

Its sins are twofold: it is cooked on the same grill as beef burgers, and is served with mayonnaise, which contains egg, as standard. The apparent uncanniness of such a burger’s pitch is easily explained — it’s aimed at meat-eaters who just want to eat less meat — but its nuance is self-evidently difficult to elucidate in a brief advert, and no-one ever made a film called Rebel Without an Easily Defined, Bitesize, Philosophically Uncomplicated Cause Suitable for Contemporary Digital Media Attention Spans. [BBC]

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