GBK has apologised after an advert saw the company attempting to start a “curry war” outside of Indian restaurants.
In the advert GBK workers were seen standing outside the Indian restaurants claiming they did not serve “proper curry” and shouting phrases such as “authentic my arse”. The advert aimed to promote the chain’s Ruby Murray burger, which features staples of Indian cuisine playing on the cockney rhyming slang for curry.
The video received a large backlash when it was posted to Twitter with users claiming it was culturally insensitive along with being in poor taste.
IMHO please work on fixing your troubles rather than attempt to make fun of hard-working immigrants and kids of immigrants who face drunk and abusive customers day in and day out. As hospitality colleagues, we should stick together – not offend others in this way.
— Iqbal Wahhab (@IqbalWahhab) October 18, 2018
I don’t know what part is most disturbing? You’ve literally sent a white male actor to harass local businesses telling the Indian culture that they don’t make ‘proper’ curry whilst wearing a sandwich board that has the hashtag #CurryWar 👀 oh sweet Jesus!
— Olivia Tee (@oliviaptee) October 18, 2018
A GBK statement read: “To those offended by our Ruby Murray video, we humbly apologise. The video was intended to be humorous. We know that a burger could never pass off as an authentic Indian dish. Having read your comments we’ve made the decision to take down the content. Unreserved apologies, GBK”
Michael Carr, CEO of GBK’s marketing agency, You Agency, said: “Our campaigns have always been rooted in an unwavering belief in the quality of the burgers, and in this instance the joke is in the absurdity that a curry burger could possibly compete with genuine Indian cuisine.
“It is a humorous call for a curry war, with the ridiculously blind belief in the Ruby Murray burger sitting at the heart of the claim– nothing more and nothing less.”
Catering Today has reached out to GBK for further comment.