Thursday, August 30, 2012

Local burger joint offers to fight anorexia

CBC Ottawa has a story about this food court ad, for local burgerjoint Manhattan Burgers, that caught the eye of psychology student Genevieve Hayden.

"That's not the kind advertising that anorexia and mental health illnesses need to get," she told the media. "They need to get positive advertising about how it is a real issue and not 'eat this burger and you'll be okay.'"

She's absolutely right, but the controversy that followed highlights the difficulties of using humour in advertising in a more sensitive age.

The restaurant owner, Fauzy Kaddoura, responded, "That's where I think the disease starts out, doesn't it? Most people worry about their figure. They think they're too big and they stop eating. And I was just thinking this is sort of the opposite."

It was an honest mistake, born of ignorance about the disease. And to his credit, Mr. Kaddoura decided to change it anyway, suggesting "Help us fight the diet craze."

Much better—it's actually what he was trying to say in the first place. And another potentially acrimonious conflict gets settled Canadian-style.

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