Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

Burger King Drops Possibly Offensive Mary J. Blige Commercial

Print comment Post Comments
The strategy of employing celebrities to shill for F&B brands is as old as the hills. Pepsi (PEP) has in the past few decades hired the likes of Michael Jackson and Britney Spears to star in its soda ads, while Yum Brands (YUM) has gotten Jessica Simpson and Charles Barkley to hawk Pizza Hut and Taco Bell respectively.
Thus, no one blinked an eye when Burger King announced that Mary J. Blige would be appearing in new TV commercials promoting the fast food chain’s new menu.
Controversy struck, however, when the commercial was released on Monday. Here’s MTV Rapfix’s description of the ad:

Standing atop a table, the diva belts out -- to the tune of her song “Don’t Mind” -- the ingredients, “Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing, wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla."

Swiftly, Burger King and Blige, known in the musical world as the queen of hip hop soul, came under fire for the ad, which many in the black community thought played up black stereotypes. Hip hop brand expert and CEO of ad agency, Translation, tweeted:
The popular blog, Madam Noire, published a critical open letter to Blige:

"This is so beneath you. This harmonizing about chicken is a move I would associate with someone whose glory days were far behind them. You still have so much more to contribute to the arts and entertainment game that there was no reason for you to stoop to stereotypes. And I know what you’re thinking, everybody across the world loves chicken. It’s true, most people get down with the poultry; but as a black woman, singing passionately about chicken is not the move!

Having a black woman sing about chicken was no mistake. They’re trying to reach the “urban” (aka black) demographic and they used you. Because God knows black folk won’t buy anything unless there’s a song, and preferably a dance, attached to it."

Clutch Magazine, an online magazine geared towards black women, also had its say:

"The stereotype about black folks loving chicken is hundreds of years old, yet it seems more rampant in fast-food advertising of the past few years than ever before. We clearly have larger issues to worry about than the proliferation of old myths, but when a legitimate commercial seems to mirror itself after a spoof of its own subgenre, there's a problem."

Just a day after the ad was released, Burger King swiftly pulled it down from its Youtube page. The company, however, asserted that the ad was taken down because of licensing issues related to the music used, and that it hoped to have them “back on the air soon."
Blige, reportedly paid a cool $2 million, was one of a slew of celebs, including David Beckham and Jay Leno, recruited to promote Burger King’s expanded slate. It includes new items like chicken strips, caramel frappe coffees, specialty salads, snack wraps, and fruit smoothies, all of which, as Fox News says, sounds very similar to rival McDonald’s (MCD) offerings.
Burger King also announced that it plans to go public again, with aims to relist on the New York Stock Exchange within the next three months, as it tries to compete with top dog McDonald’s and Wendy’s (WEN), which recently overtook it in sales for the first time ever, for a larger share of the fast food pie.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.