New BK controversy for CP+B

A new commercial for Burger King from Crispin Porter + Bogusky is at the centre of a complaint from the Mexican ambassador to Spain, who claims it denigrates Mexico’s image.

A new commercial for Burger King from Crispin Porter + Bogusky is at the centre of a complaint from the Mexican ambassador to Spain, who claims it denigrates Mexico’s image.

The spot, for the Texican Whopper burger, depicts a lanky cowboy moving in with a small Mexican wrestler. As the two settle in together, a voiceover intones, “People said it would never work, but somehow one plus one equals three… the Texican Whopper, the taste of Texas with a little spicy Mexican.” The ad is only airing in Europe and was shot by directing duo Albert through Thomas Thomas Films.

Poster accompanying the Spanish ad campaign

Spain’s Mexican ambassador has complained in particular about the use of a cape worn by the Mexican wrestler, that appears to resemble the Mexican flag. The cape is particularly evident in the accompanying poster campaign, shown above. Mexico has strict laws that ban the defamation of its flag.

Controversy is nothing new for CP+B and Burger King, with their Whopper Virgins campaign earlier this year receiving accusations of being patronising and potentially exploitative after it depicted indigenous people eating burgers for the first time. Usually the client and agency ride out the storm, with the debate surrounding their ads often seen as being ultimately beneficial, yet, according to Ad Age, Burger King has this time issued a statement saying that the creative in the Texican Whopper spot will be revised, with a new version on air “as soon as commercially possible”. It is unknown at this stage what changes will be made to the ad.

Meanwhile, if that weren’t enough, CP+B and BK have also caused consternation from parents with regard to this ad/video for the burger brand, which aims to emphasise its tie-in with SpongeBob SquarePants. The spot shows the unnerving King character dancing around with a bunch of square-butted companions while singing a version of 90s hit Baby Got Back. While undeniably funny, if a little weird, it has raised the ire of advocacy groups in the US who complain it is overly sexual for a kid’s meal ad.

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