Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has single-handedly offended its entire vegetarian and vegan fan base with its new - and rather insensitive - advertising campaign.
The adverts, which have been featured on the London Underground, include a poster which shows a picture of a young cow and reads: "They eat grass so you don't have to."
Another shows a picture of a burger and reads: "Vegetarians. Resistance is futile." And another says: "You'll always remember when you gave up being a vegetarian."
Vegetarians and vegans have since taken to social media to complain about the adverts.
Responding to the huge backlash, GBK apologised and said they will be removing some of the offending posters.
— EleanorRudd (@EleanorRudd) January 16, 2016
Since the adverts were shared on a vegan Facebook page, many have taken to Twitter to complain to GBK with the hashtag #GourmetMurderKitchen.
Complaints have also been made to the Advertising Standards Authority.
People have branded the adverts as "vile", "awful" and "disgusting". They have also slated the company for "offending a huge customer base".
— AnkitChhajer (@ankitchr) January 18, 2016
— Dario P Ⓥ (@dariopol) January 18, 2016
— Jason Bromley (@Dispeller79) January 17, 2016
— Harriet Layhe (@HarrietLayhe) January 17, 2016
You have also reinforced the stigma behind vegan diets, poked fun at animal suffering and pissed your customers off. #gourmetmurderkitchen
— Lucy Ⓥ (@LucyHRichards) January 16, 2016
— Stephy (@stephyy_kate) January 16, 2016
— Jessica Chloe Young (@jsscchlyng) January 16, 2016
Disgusting advertising. Unethical, uncompassionate, and vile #gourmetmurderkitchen
— Eilish Roberts (@Eilish123) January 16, 2016
— Lucy Taylor (@dudeitslucy) January 15, 2016
After vegetarians and vegans called for a boycott of the burger restaurant, the social media representative for GBK tweeted an apology to customers.
"We've been reading the reaction to our latest advertising campaign and needless to say, we're quite taken aback," they said.
"The last thing we ever intended to do was offend or alienate vegetarians. The same vegetarians we've looked after since our first GBK.
"Our intentions were light-hearted and not meant to cause any offence, but clearly we have, and for that we apologise."
They added: "While we've served beef at the core of our menu since 2001, we've always catered well to the veggies out there, & always will."
After reading the comments and messages on social media, the restaurant are going to "take down some of the adverts".
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