ASA Adjudication on Burger King Ltd
Burger King Ltd
15 Bath Road
21 July 2010
Food and drink
Number of complaints:
Crispin Porter Bogusky
A TV ad for the Tendercrisp Chicken burger showed a man in an American-style motel room. He was shown furtively locking the door and closing the curtains and then hiding behind the bed and eating a large chicken burger. The door to the room rattled and then burst open and an angry looking cow was shown standing in the doorway. The man said "sweetie" to the cow and then shook his hands and mumbled in denial. The voice-over said "New Tendercrisp chicken. So good, you'll cheat on beef. Only at Burger King".
Two viewers objected that the ad was misleading because they believed the chicken burger sold in Burger King stores was significantly smaller than the one shown in the ad.
BCAP TV Code
Burger King Ltd (Burger King) said that it was their policy to follow the same protocol each time they filmed or photographed their products and only used Burger King approved ingredients which a customer would receive in-store. They stated that in order to be as clear as possible with their customers about the contents of their product, they needed to show all the ingredients clearly in their advertising. They said although they appreciated that not all those ingredients would always be visible from all sides of the burger, when filming the ad they had used the Tendercrisp chicken burger product build sheet used by staff in the restaurant to ensure the correct weights and ingredients were used.
Clearcast said it warned advertisers that the visual representation of foodstuffs should always be in line with the standard production of that item and should not be exaggerated in anyway. They explained that they received two samples of the Tendercrisp Chicken burger and were satisfied that the burgers in-store were of a similar size and quality build to the one depicted in the ad. They said the ad showed a side-view of the man holding the burger with both hands and believed that, when considered alongside the soft drink carton on the floor next to him, it was clear that the burger was no bigger than a large soft-drink carton. They said the next image showed a front view of the man eating the burger and, although they accepted the burger appeared bigger in this shot, this was only because it was a "locked-in" shot. They stated that the size of the burger was clearly established when the man stood up and turned to the camera holding the between the fingertips of one hand. They said the combination of these images accurately represented the actual size of the burger.
The ASA noted the ad included a close-up front view of the man sitting down and holding the burger with both hands before showing a close-up side-shot of the man, still seated, holding the burger in one hand. We considered that these close-ups formed the main images of the burger in full sight during the ad. In both instances we noted the man's hand(s) were full when holding the burger. We acknowledged the man was shown holding the burger in various other shots during the ad but noted in those shots the burger was either not fully visible or was not the focus of attention, and considered that the relative size of the burger to the mans hands had not been established in these images. We purchased three Tendercrisp chicken burgers and noted the thickness of the burgers, the quantity of additional fillings (such as salad) and the subsequent overall height of the product was considerably less than appeared in the ad. We also examined the size of the burgers in the hands of an average-sized man and considered that they did not fill the hands to the same extent as the burger featured in the ad. We concluded that the visuals in the ad were likely to mislead viewers as to the size and composition of the product.
The ad breached CAP (Broadcast) TV Advertising Code rules 5.1.1 (Misleading Advertising) and 5.2.2 (Implications).
The ad should not appear again in its current form.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Broadcast)