Gourmet Burger Kitchen pulls ‘offensive’ advertisements
Published:  20 January, 2016

Restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has withdrawn three advertisements shown across London after just two days, due to offending the vegan community. 

One of the advertisements pulled showed a young cow with the caption: ‘They eat grass so you don’t have to’. Another read: ‘You always remember the time you gave up being vegetarian’, while the third said ‘Vegetarians, resistance is futile’. 

“Our new adverts have purely light-hearted intentions and were not meant to cause offence,” said a statement issued by GBK.

“We’ve been serving beef as a core part of our menu for the last 15 years and while we’re carnivores at heart, we have an extensive range of vegetarian options available. We value our vegetarian customers and their views, and have therefore made the decision to remove three of our five ads from the campaign.

The two remaining advertisements are displayed below:

Jasmijn de Boo, chief executive of The Vegan Society, labelled GBK as “out of touch”, and its advertisements as “outdated” and “highly offensive”.

“If they wanted to bring in new custom to boost a slow January, they ought to have embraced Veganuary rather than alienate a growing section of society and offered some more vegan options,” said de Boo.

“That’s what their competitors, Handmade Burger Co, have done this month with enormous success.