5 Reasons GBK’s Anti-Vegetarian Ad Campaign Was An Epic Fail

It’s one week since GBK agreed to remove some of it’s adverts from the London Underground. Never, since international singing sensation Susan Boyle’s team decided to publicise her new album with the hashtag #Susanalbumparty (wait for it), has there been such a misguided and baffling marketing choice.

Here’s my top 5 reasons why they got it so, so wrong.

1. GBK Is Actually Really Good For Vegetarians!


 I loved GBK! They offer two different veggie patties (Falafel and Bean),which are both flavoursome, have great texture and never failed to satisfy this very hungry Veggie Lad. Plus you can swap the meat patty in any of their burgers for a veggie one. My favourite was the Kiwi burger with beetroot, fried egg, pineapple and cheddar. YUM! It therefore seems absolutely ridiculous that they would choose to actively discourage vegetarians from coming to enjoy their menu, which some chef has worked tirelessly to create.

2. The Adverts Were For The LONDON Underground- One Of The Most Vegetarian Cities On Earth.


London has frequently been named one of the best places in the world to be vegetarian, winning the title from PETA in 2009. A recent study by Mintel suggested that 12% of the UK population are now vegetarian. That’s just under 1 million vegetarians in London. Probably more. 1 million people in your target area that you should probably be trying to get through your door, not piss off. What’s more, this study also suggested that 20% of 18-24s are vegetarian. Which brings me to number 3:

3. It Provoked A Cutting Social Media Backlash

With a simple lazy advert a hive-mind of young, creative, social media savvy veggies was unleashed upon GBK: #GourmetMurderKitchen ‘We Kill Them, So You Don’t Have To’ etc etc. Now they say all publicity is good publicity, but I know when I ate meat two years ago, I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted to eat at a place that’s nickname featured the word ‘murder’…

4. They Had A Perfectly Good Ad Campaign Running At The Same Time!


Who else has seen this one: ‘Burger: It’s the new quinoa’? This ad is great! As I saw it on a crowded, sweaty central line platform I chuckled to myself: ‘Haha, good one GBK!’ Combating the overload of New Year health-foods and diet programmes with a comforting message of ‘Ah screw it, eat a burger’ is genuinely very good and effective. Apparently they couldn’t think of any more of these. Well, here’s some I took approximately 4 seconds to make up:

‘Burgers: High Protein, High Joy!

‘We now serve Superfood Smoothies*! (*Actually Still Just Burgers)’

‘Every Day is Cheat Day’

I’ll let you know when GBK call.

 5. It Showed Their Business To Be Completely Out Of Touch And Verging On Nasty.


Most people go veggie for quite serious reasons: ethical, health, environmental etc. I summarised my reasons in my first blog. To imply that such a large number of people have made this choice simply because they haven’t liked meat until a GBK burger has appeared in their life like a Meaty Messiah is not only ignorant but disrespectful.

Their apology felt a bit half-arsed as well: ‘But hopefully we won’t tread on anyone’s toes by doing it’. You silly, frilly vegetarians with your beliefs and principles getting offended by GBK’s hilarious banter! Way to be a kill-joy everyone. The reality is that GBK’s marketing department showed themselves to be completely rubbish at their jobs. Jobs, which may not be theirs much longer…

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Rob x


Veggie LAD

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