ChiTrib Hits Burger King for 'Ugly Americanism'

Burger King is an Ugly American corporate villain that has raped the "pristine digestive systems" of so-called Whopper Virgins the world over.

Sounds like an Onion article, right? Try the Chicago Tribune:

Burger King's "Whopper Virgins" ad campaign is the company's latest salvo in its long food fight with rival McDonald's.

But it appears to have missed the mark.

Critics have heaped a super-size helping of scorn on the ads, suggesting it smacks of "corporate colonialism," "cultural bullying" and the worst kind of Ugly Americanism.

[...]

But the Whopper project has left a bad taste in the mouths of many who have seen it.

"While [Burger King] spent millions of dollars happily tracking down people with no 'hamburger awareness' the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has to go begging because they can only get one-thirtieth of the money they need to rebuild the developing world's shattered food systems," said Food First, an advocacy group that fights hunger.

Barbara Lippert, a columnist for Adweek, called the ads "culturally tone-deaf."

Reporter Tom Hundley allowed Burger King a brief response, quoting from a corporate press release. Hundley could have gone to any number of Chicago-area Burger Kings to ask Whopper aficionados for their take on the controversy and may well have found a lot of them rolling their eyes at the whiney liberal complaints about the ad campaign.

Instead Hundley chose to close his article by hinting that he too thought the fast food company's fare was a culinary scourge to the planet:

We are told that the burger virgins preferred—surprise, surprise—Whoppers to Big Macs, but we are only left to wonder how American-style junk food, laden with hormones, steroids and saturated fats, was received by their pristine digestive systems.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters