The Burger King (BK) 'Wicked Winter' ad is not socially responsible for promoting burgers as an effective hangover cure, according to the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
In relation to this Facebook post by Burger King NZ, Complainant P. Hansen called the attention of ASA NZ to the "Wicked Winter" commercial of Burger King and asked for the said advertisement not to be aired anymore because of its misleading claims of curing hangovers by eating the company's burgers.
P. Hansen specifically objected about how the ad normalises hangovers, encourages risky behaviour and promotes unhealthy and irresponsible drinking habits to people, including impressionable teenagers and children who are frequent patrons of Burger King. Hansen also claims that the commercial is an example of false advertising because of claiming to be able to cure hangovers.
The Burger King advertisement being complained about showed the blurred words "Wicked Winter."
"I know what will cure this epic hangover-- a bowl of cold milky muesli, said no one ever. Recover from your big night out with the BK breakfast burger, it's hot, it's bacon-y and it's easy to eat when you're curled up in the foetal position," the advertisement stated in the ASA NZ report.
The ASA NZ ruled that the aforementioned Burger King advertisement, which promotes its burgers as an effective hangover cure, was not socially responsible to consumers and society. Majority of the board decided that the ad in question was in breach of the Advertising Code of Ethics, particularly the Basic Principle 4, Rule 2 Truthful Presentation and Rule 12: Safety.
"It glamourised and normalised excessive intoxication through the use of the language "epic hangover," "big night out" and "curled up in the foetal position," the Complaints Board members said.
The Burger King "Wicked Winter" ad's official campaign slogan is "Be wicked this winter." It has already ended and it will no longer be seen on TV.
Meanwhile, the Antares Restaurant Group Ltd, which is the owner of Burger King, defended its "Wicked Winter" ad campaign, saying that Burger King has always used cheeky humour in its commercials. Antares claims that the ad was merely showing the reality of being drunk and experiencing a hangover, which usually happens to its target market (18 - 25 year old males).
Even if ASA NZ has ruled that the Burger King 'Wicked Winter' ad is not socially responsible for promoting burgers as a hangover cure, Burger King will still come up with controversial, humorous and cheeky commercials because that is what they are famous for. This latest ruling has put the burger company in the limelight again, maybe in a negative way, but it has also helped increase its popularity even more.
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