Proving no business is too small, a Jindabyne burger restaurant was sanctioned by the Advertising Standards Board over a social media post for a chicken burger.
Burger Biz published a post on Facebook showcasing its chicken burger, Tha McKlucka Muthaf*ka, which was also advertised on its menu instore.
A consumer complained to the Board that the language was “extremely offensive to be displaying instore and on social media”.
The business owner appeared somewhat nonplussed by the complaint, saying “Seriously it's just a burger. No full language was used it was shortened to be a play on words.”
The owner went on to refer to the notorious Northern Territory tourism campaign “CU in the NT” which he found to be “more nationally offensive than a small funky burger business tucked away in the NSW snowy mountains.”
The Board’s view
Section 2.5 of the Advertiser Code of Ethics states that “Advertising or Marketing Communications shall only use language which is appropriate in the circumstances (including appropriate for the relevant audience and medium). Strong or obscene language shall be avoided.”
The Board referred to a recent decision regarding posters displayed in Anytime Fitness, which included the words “F*CK Unfit”. The Board considered that “…many people still find references to the F word to be strong and obscene”, and such language is inappropriate in the context of advertising within a gym.
Given the Board also upheld complaints regarding the NT tourism campaign, referencing this actually didn’t work in Burger Biz’s favour.
Consistent with earlier decisions, the Board upheld the complaint. Burger Biz renamed the burger and amended the Facebook post accordingly.
Despite knowing what your customers might find amusing, advertisers must ensure campaigns and social media posts comply with all applicable advertising standards.