It looks like Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s (GBK) latest ad campaign hasn’t gone down as well as they were hoping.
The burger chain has felt the full anger of the Internet over its new poster campaign caused widespread offence among the vegetarian and vegan community – who are now calling for a boycott of the brand.
— EleanorRudd (@EleanorRudd) January 16, 2016
The three ads in question have appeared in tube stations.
One shows a picture of a young cow, with the caption: “They eat grass so you don’t have to.”
Another says: “You always remember the time you gave up being vegetarian,” while a third has an image of a large meat burger, with the caption “Vegetarians, resistance is futile.”
The images were posted to one of the country’s largest vegan Facebook groups and, predictably, sparked a fair amount of rage:
You have also reinforced the stigma behind vegan diets, poked fun at animal suffering and pissed your customers off. #gourmetmurderkitchen
— Lucy Ⓥ (@LucyHRichards) January 16, 2016
— Jessica Chloe Young (@jessicachloeold) January 16, 2016
— Maria Chiorando (@mariachiorando) January 17, 2016
— Eva (@EvaBelgium2) January 15, 2016
The timing couldn’t have been much worse, coming right in the middle of Veganuary – a campaign encouraging people to give up animal products for a month.
It has seen a massive rise in popularity this year with around 22,000 people taking part:
— VEGANUARY (@WeAreVeganuary) January 16, 2016
GBK have now responded to the widespread criticism, making an apology via their Facebook page:
Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of The Vegan Society, said:
GBK has shown itself to be totally out of touch. If they wanted to bring in new custom to boost a slow January, they ought to have embraced Veganuary, rather than alienate a growing section of society, and offered some more vegan options.
That’s what their competitors, Handmade Burger Co, have done this month with enormous success.
They seem to have been well and truly put in their place…