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Advertising Rant #2

Monday, September 6, 2010


This one should be pretty obvious, right?

It’s a poster which is currently appearing on the Taipei MRT; the text says something like ‘Did you have a bad break-up?  Try something new.’  Now, the assertion that Burger King is the thing to use to get you over a bout of heartache is ridiculous enough on its own, but, of course, the big issue here is using smoking imagery in a positive way.

You’d think that by now these corporations would have gotten it through their heads that there are things which are unacceptable in advertising, one of them being trying to portray smoking as ‘cool’ and ‘fashionable.’  This galls me for two reasons particularily:

1) Taiwan recently passed a nationwide anti-smoking law, but is still having some issues with general compliance, and something like this certainly isn’t going to help matters once the extremely impressionable kids get it into their heads; and

2) The blatant hypocrisy — they would never even try something like this in Canada or the U.S. because they know it would be pulled right away (actually, it would probably never even get by the censor board, or whatever it is that controls that).  But in a place like Taiwan, where controls like that are more lax, they manage to not only conceive of it but get it through.

This is also another instance of a giant multinational corporation with so many arms flailing around at once that the head doesn’t know what all the arms are doing.  I’m hoping the lifespan of this ad is short-lived once someone at BK HQ gets a hold of it.

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