A while back, Burger King turned quite a few heads with a widely panned ad that evoked images of a sexual act. Now, the model featured in those ads is speaking out against the fast food giant, saying that Burger King “raped” her image.
Five years ago, Burger King ran an incredibly suggestive ad in Singapore for its BK Super Seven Incher. The ad for Burger King’s super-sized hamburger featured an open-mouthed model apparently preparing to down the burger, which was positioned as though it was… well, look at the picture.
In case it wasn’t clear enough, the ad’s copy said the Burger King offering would “BLOW… your mind away” and encouraged viewers to “fill [their] desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled.”
Burger King was going for “risqué,” but the ad was largely panned. Burger King quickly distanced itself from the ad, saying that it was the work of a contracted ad agency in Singapore and not by Burger King’s U.S. advertising agency of record.
Now, the woman whose picture was featured in the ad is speaking out against it via YouTube. The video, published last week, is titled “Burger King Digitally-Raped My Face,” and the woman’s language doesn’t get any tamer than that.
“Is this an ad for blowjobs or fast food,” the woman asks of the Burger King ad. “You’d think that for a scenario like this, the company would want to make sure that the model is aware of how her image is being used.”
“I didn’t even know about that being done to my photo,” she continues, “let alone agree to it.”
As Adweek points out, the model had some even stronger words in the video’s description.
“Burger King found my photo online from a series I did,” she writes, “and with no due regard to me as a person, profited off reducing me to an orifice for their penis sludge; publicly humiliating me in the process. Friends, family, coworkers, prospective employers who saw it assume I was a willing player.”
She then kicks it up a notch.
“I believe in sexual expression in art and the media; it’s beautiful and necessary for a healthy society but IT MUST BE CONSENSUAL otherwise it’s RAPE.”
Burger King has responded to the video, saying that the image was a stock one that the fast food chain paid for the rights to back in 2009.
“Our investigation shows that the rights to use the image were purchased from the legal owner of those rights,” Burger King said in a statement. “We were not made aware until recently that the model claims not to have known about this use. We have since spoken with the model’s family and assured them that we have no intent to use this image again.”
Of course, Burger King probably won’t be running the ad or anything like it at all following the initial backlash. What do you think? Is Burger King’s innuendo tantamount to rape like the model says?