bringing burgers to the poor, exotic "whopper virgins"

I've been hearing from a lot of people about Burger King's latest ad campaign, Whopper Virgins. Mostly negative. I finally saw a commercial for it, and looks pretty bad. They've basically created a "documentary" where a film crew takes BK's signature hamburger to remote locations to perform taste tests with people supposedly untouched by fast food palates and marketing, and "don't even have a word for burger."

What makes this so offensive? Perhaps it's the implication that the people in these locations (in traditional cultural dress, for good measure) are somehow backwards and exotic because they've never had a burger in their lives. Or how about the fact some areas of the world have more important things to worry about—like basic human hunger—than being "Whopper Virgins."

Watch the commercial that's been running here. The campaign has already generated a lot of negative buzz from bloggers and pundits, who are calling the "experiment" tasteless and exploitative: Fresh Palates for Burger King. More here: Whopper Virgins: it doesn't get much more offensive than this. And here: Burger King's 'Whopper Virgins' Documentary Takes Whoppers to Remote Places.

The "Whopper Virgins" documentary premieres online on Monday. If you'd like get in touch with Burger King about how you feel about this particular ad campaign, there's some corporate contact info here. I'm skeptical that they'll give a damn, but it's worth letting them know.

UPDATE: Here's an ABC News report on the "Whopper Virgins" ad, with people talking about some of the controversy the campaign has drawn: Flame-broiled Advertising Controversy.

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