A Brisbane burger chain has come under fire from the Australian Christian Lobby and sparked complaints to the advertising watchdog after using an advert with an image of a woman licking a cow’s face.
The advertisement from Burger Urge states: “Get intimate with our new premium beef”.
The Australian Christian Lobby had previously complained to the Advertising Standards Board about Burger Urge delivering condoms to letterboxes across Brisbane, but the watchdog found the complaint did not constitute a formal complaint as the lobby had not actually received a condom.
Australian Christian Lobby state director Wendy Francis told Quest newspapers while the lobby did not file the complaint against the latest advertisement, it was offensive.
“It’s definitely a sexual sort of image. It says ‘get intimate’ so we’re not talking about a pet thing. The cow is dressed up as a man,” she said.
Francis has launched a campaign to make all outdoor advertising G-rated and said people should feel confident they wouldn’t have to see “a woman making love to a cow”.
The Advertising Standards Board threw out the latest complaint against Burger Urge on the basis that most people would realise the image had been photo-shopped as the cow is wearing a monocle and top hat.
While the complaint to the Advertising Standards Board described the Burger Urge advertisement as “loathsome”, “sick”, “wrong and perverted”, the board found the advertisement did treat sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relative audience.
Holy row over an unholy cow (above): The Burger Urge ad.
“Whilst this image of a woman licking a cow’s face would be considered distasteful by most members of the community, in the Board’s view it is not overly provocative or sexual,” the watchdog said.
The Advertising Standards Board found while the slogan – “get intimate” – was open to many interpretations, the most likely was suggestive of eating a burger made from premium beef.
Burger Urge owner Sean Carthew told SmartCompany the burger chain got an overwhelmingly positive response to the ad.
“We feel that it is a small minority that has taken issue with it and their perception of what is reasonable is not in line with the rest of the community,” he says.
“We intend to continue to make fun and unique advertising and focus on distinguishing our brand from our competitors, we won’t be changing anything.”
Carthew denies the chain deliberately sets out to be controversial with its ads.
“Controversial is the wrong word, we try to be clever and we try to have fun with our branding and marketing,” he says.
“We don’t try to deliberately offend or try to make it onto the news but that has been the result of some of the campaigns.”