Hungry Jacks Ad Spiked Following Concerns That Tradies Could Be Bribed With Burgers

Hungry Jacks Ad Spiked Following Concerns That Tradies Could Be Bribed With Burgers

Ad Standards has banned a light-hearted spot for Hungry Jacks following two furious viewer complaints.

The advert, which can still be viewed on YouTube, showed a woman driving her car with the passenger enjoying a tasty burger. Without realising, they approached some roadworks with a trade telling them to stop.

Then, to keep moving, they presented the road worker with a burger. He duly obliged and let them carry on with their journey.

However, two viewer complaints have led to the ad being banned. The first took issue with the dangerous and unsafe driving on display.

“For roadworkers reckless, driving resulting in accidents which cause serious injury or death is a serious concern. I don’t know one road worker who hasn’t been hit by a car working on the road ( I work for a company in the industry). To make a serious social problem frivolous is disrespectful to the individuals and families whose lives have been destroyed by people not taking care at roadworks. We don’t make ‘near misses’ better with a Whopper. Reckless driving endangering lives should not be laughed off. Do better.

“This advertisement may not explicitly encourage unsafe driving, but it does seem to make light of potentially dangerous situations, which is highly distressing and inappropriate, particularly in the context of our members’ daily work and experiences.

“I believe this ad is encouraging bribery when someone has done something wrong. This is corruption and must not be allowed to become a way of life in Australia. Countries around the world have terrible problems with corruption and bribery and I believe this ad is encouraging the attitude that bribery and corruption are ok”.

Another complaint took issue with the advert’s casting, alleging that it was racist.

“The ad portrays a black man doing a menial job. The black man is easily bribed with junk food (burger) to break the rules thus perpetuating the myth that blacks are not always on the straight and narrow.

“The black man is shown enjoying the burger immensely; advancing the stereotype that people of colour are totally responsible for the health gap due to their poor choices”.

Read more: Budding Thespian? Find Out Who Adland’s Best Of The Best Casting Directors Are, Presented By Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

In response, Hungry Jacks said that no rules had been broken in response to the AANA Code of Ethics as it relates to health and safety. It noted that the car was clearly moving slowly, no road rules were broken, both occupants were wearing seatbelts, the driver had her hands on the wheel at all times and “creative licence” had been used to exaggerate the situation with the driver and worker.

It also said that the ad did not show the driver bribing the worker, but instead asking for forgiveness — by way of a Whopper — for their lack of concentration.

“The road traffic controller accepts her apology and chooses to forgive her. Many road traffic controllers report receiving disrespectful and abusive behaviour from drivers. We depicted a traffic controller as the ‘hero’ in ad to humanise these essential workers with the intent of reminding people to be kinder and more respectful toward them.

“This advertisement reminds drivers to concentrate more, but more importantly it aims to encourage people to undertake acts of kindness and to forgive. The Whopper brand campaign aims to hero individuals triumphing through facing adversity with forgiveness and acts of kindness”.

Hungry Jacks also said that the casting was not racist and was intended to show diversity in advertising. It also contended that it did not imply that black people were more likely to work in “menial” jobs or be susceptible to bribery.

But the Ad Standards Community panel found that “the depiction of driver inattention was contrary to prevailing community standards on road safety”.

The final twist in the saga, however, was that no action was needed. The campaign concluded on 31 October. A decision was taken on the ad by the Community Panel on 25 October.

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