Did Burger King Really Just Issue A C&D Through Twitter?

from the it-takes-two-hands dept

Now that it's legal to serve papers to someone through Facebook, Burger King has apparently sent a cease and desist via Twitter to the user "whoppervirgins" for an unauthorized use of trademark. "Whopper Virgins" is the latest multi-million dollar ad campaign from Burger King to hit the airwaves, featuring documentary-like ads depicting Hmong, Inuit and Romanian villagers eating burgers for the first time. Sure, "theBKlounge" account may not really be Burger King, or the C&D could actually be an in-character joke. But, really, did nobody at the agency think to simply grab the twitter account "whoppervirgins" to begin with? From the start, this campaign seems to have attracted criticism. In addition to flak for being "corporate colonialism," "cultural bullying" and "the worst kind of Ugly Americanism," this campaign has been ridiculed for not doing enough good SEO to support the campaign. In any case, perhaps Burger King purposely planned these strange moves, in order to generate fodder for bloggers to chew on, since in all honestly, I am really, really craving a Whopper right now.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 8:03pm

    I sure as hell do not want one...blek

    and I LOOVVEE lamp

     

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  2.  
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    Joe (profile), Dec 18th, 2008 @ 8:13pm

    The BK Lounge?

    "The BK Lounge" is a skit by Dane Cook. 100% sure that's not Burger King.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 8:16pm

    AC's across the world LOVE LAMP

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    andrew, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 8:39pm

    well

    Do you really expect every company to have someone on staff to register every possible trademark on every site to prevent someone from using it?

     

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  5.  
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    Eric Goldman (profile), Dec 18th, 2008 @ 8:41pm

    This has to be fake!

    There is no possible way a lawyer could say ANYTHING, let alone a C&D demand, in 140 characters!

     

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  6.  
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    TriZz, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 8:49pm

    Re: This has to be fake!

    Bravo, sir.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 9:43pm

    Re: The BK Lounge?

    Well, that user's picture and Bio definitely smack %100 of Burger King, with no mention of Dan Cook.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 9:46pm

    Re: The BK Lounge?

    Oops, make that Dane.

     

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  9.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 10:02pm

    "...perhaps Burger King purposely planned these strange moves, in order to generate fodder for bloggers to chew on, since in all honestly, I am really, really craving a Whopper right now."

    I just looked at the clock myself to see if I could make it to BK before they close. Sadly, it is two minutes after closing. So I'm out of luck for the evening.

     

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  10.  
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    TEA-Time, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 11:13pm

    If there ever was a reason to be called a"piece of meat"

    Maybe this is somehow leading up to a pitch for their new Flame men's body spray, which is apparently a part of the same viral ad campaign.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 12:31am

    Do people really still eat at Burger King? There are so many fantastic, and reasonably priced, burger restaurants it amazes me people still go to BK.

    I guess you'll tell me that people still think Pizza Hut make good pizzas...

     

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  12.  
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    Haywood, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 3:20am

    Since this has gotten silly and off topic...

    How do the get the Big Mac to the test subjects? I mean they roll back into primitive places with a convoy, I could see how they could carry a portable Whopper maker, but the comparison burger, if made by them, isn't a Big Mac.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 5:53am

    Re: Since this has gotten silly and off topic...

    Ummm. The inuits, Romanians, etc. are sitting in a boardroom in the commercial. I think they bring the people to the corporation, not the burgers to the people. Gah, I watch too much TV.

    Honestly, if I lived in a mud hut and someone brought me to a large US city for the first time, free of charge, I'd testify that a poo pattie is tastier than chocolate.

     

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  14.  
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    Mark, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    User Name Check

    C&D via Twitter? Puhleaze! Ok well they could use usernamecheck.com next time.

     

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  15.  
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    Jonathan, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 7:12am

    I don't even know where to start

     

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  16.  
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    Sachin Balagopalan, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    woppervirgins

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 7:53am

    Poisoning People is Adverstising?

    BK's fare is notoriously high in fat/carbs/portion sizes, and these poor rural villagers probably don't understand the long term impact of adapting a Western diet.

    Diabetes, obesity, heart disease - that's what's in store for these new "consumers" in a generation.

    BK should be ashamed, however since they need to keep poisoning new consumers to maintain their financial position in the market, I'm sure that shame isn't part of the corporate culture.

     

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  18.  
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    jonnyq, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Since this has gotten silly and off topic...

    If they didn't tell you which was which, it would be a fair comparison.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 8:55am

    SEO should be considered a Marketing 101 topic.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    Would you taste one of their typical meals ?
    I didn't think so.

     

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  21.  
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    Mark Regan, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 9:56am

    UNFAIR

    As a private investigator who occasionally serves process for government agencies and attorneys, I find it UNFAIR that Twitter is competing with me by serving process for FREE.

    It is time we require to join the American Association of Process Servers, and to disclose to their customers (Twitees?) that the personal information they provide can and will be used to assist in seeing that they are served with process.

     

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  22.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 19th, 2008 @ 10:10am

    Re: UNFAIR

    I'm sorry, that comment is 279 characters too long. Please condense and resubmit.

     

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  23.  
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    hesitations, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 11:47am

    Burger King induced Diarreha

    Most of these villagers eat a very low fat diet.

    Eating just one high fat burger will give them terrible diarreha.

    Their stomachs and intestines will hurt for days.

    I find it laughable.

    This harkens back to the Got MilK add featuring African Americans. Something like two-thirds of African American adults are lactose intolerant. Got Diarreha?

     

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  24.  
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    john, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 3:36pm

    Getting off topic for a minute

    I know this is off the topic of Burger King sending a C&D notice via Twitter, but here's something to think about: how would we feel if the situation was reversed?

    Imagine a restaurant from Korea comes to the US and asks Americans to decide which is better: flame-grilled something (which represents the "Whopper") or fried something (the "Big Mac")? Either way, we'd be asking what the **** is this food you're trying to serve me.
    What if they they only told us what the "something" was *after* we ate it... and it turned out to be dog or cat or guinea pig... and that your reaction was being filmed for a TV commercial to show that you liked their version the best?

    Do the "whopper virgins" even have a concept for eating cows? Do the Inuits even know what cows are? And did Burger King make sure that these peoples don't have any religious issues with eating beef, like Jews and Hindus?

    I just hope this whole "whopper virgin" campaign was staged with actors and Burger King didn't actually subject native people to greasy, fatty fast food and to the corporate-legalese contracts that they probably had to sign so Burger King could avoid any lawsuits when the people get sick.

     

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  25.  
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    Mark, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: UNFAIR

    Dear CHT: I need your street or twitter address. I've got some papers for you.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2008 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Getting off topic for a minute

    "And did Burger King make sure that these peoples don't have any religious issues with eating beef, like Jews and Hindus?"

    The acting parts were outsourced to India

     

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  27.  
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    zaki blogjer, Dec 20th, 2008 @ 6:52pm

    not the first time

    I remember I read somewhere about this, where 1 user who hold twitter account 'celtic' got it revoked as well

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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