Vegan/red meat advertising friction rolls on around the world

Beef Central, 20/01/2016

FRICTION between red meat advocates and the vegan community sparked by advertising campaigns continues to reverberate around the world.

In the wake of this year’s Australia Day lamb campaign which raised the ire of vegans for satirising kale and other vegetarian foods (see earlier article), a UK burger chain has pulled some of its satirical ads comparing its red meat menu options with vegetarian foods.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen recently launched a campaign across London comparing its burgers with vegetarian options, but withdrew three of the five ads after just two days following complaints from the Vegan Society that they were offensive.

The Vegan Society’s Jasmijn de Boo slammed GBK’s ads for being ‘out of touch’.

One of the advertisements pulled showed a young cow with the caption: ‘They eat grass so you don’t have to’. Another read: ‘You always remember the time you gave up being vegetarian’, while the third, carrying an image of a juicy beef burger, said ‘Vegetarians: resistance is futile’.

“Our new adverts have purely light-hearted intentions and were not meant to cause offence,” a statement issued by GBK said.

“We’ve been serving beef as a core part of our menu for the last 15 years and while we’re carnivores at heart, we have an extensive range of vegetarian options available. We value our vegetarian customers and their views, and have therefore made the decision to remove three of our five ads from the campaign.

The two remaining advertisements, published below, were deemed less offensive:

vegan 1

vegan 2

Last week, MLA drew flak from vegans for its Australia Day lamb ad campaign, themed around ‘rescuing’ unfortunate Australians caught overseas without access to lamb on Australia Day.

The ad has received more than four million views on social media, and the call for its removal has since been dismissed by the Advertising Standards Council.



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  1. Paul D. Butler, 22/01/2016

    Best advertising attracts attention. Response proves that not eating meat can cause mental health and anger problems.

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