In the era of political correctness and the #MeToo movement one of the biggest burger chains in America has recently come under fire due to what many feel was an inappropriate commercial. Jack in the Box released a sexual innuendo filled commercial to promote a new item on their menu. The new commercial stars the oversized plastic head CEO that Americans have grown an affection for over the years. In the commercial Jack says, “You’ve got some pretty nice bowls, but so does Dan.” This statement was followed by a female colleague of Jack also complimenting Dan on his bowls. More than a dozen references to bowls can be seen during the running time of the commercial.
David Griner who works for Adweek criticized the new Jack in the Box commercial for being what he called “one of the most tone-deaf ads of the #MeToo era.” Griner wrote “in perhaps its most telling moment, the ad tries to go meta by having a lawyer explain to Jack that the campaign is inappropriate, but (in a commendable accurate portrayal of male executives), he doesn’t understand what the fuss is about.”
Jack in the Box has tried to defend itself against the backlash that the company has seen since the new commercial came out. In a statement from both Jack in the Box and the agency who was responsible for the ad David and Goliath have both claimed that the commercial does not make light of sexual harassment in the work place. In a joint statement the two companies said, “as a brand known by its fans for its tongue-in-cheek, playful sense of humor, this ad is simply a creative and humorous expression around the teriyaki bowl product. It intends to highlight how a burger brand such as Jack in the Box dares to go beyond the usual fast food fare and serve something different.”
Just as Jack in the Box and David and Goliath have stood by their advertisement David Griner also stands by his criticism of the new commercial. In an email that he sent out to liberal controlled media platform CBS David Griner said, “in advertising, you can make a brilliantly dumb ad that’s still fantastic. Sometimes, those are the best ads. But this spot goes dumb without taking the time to be brilliant. Will it work on some folks? Sure. But that’s not a good excuse for celebrating sexual jokes in the workplace.”
In the era of the #MeToo movement and political correct speech Jack in the Box is not the first restaurant to find itself met with backlash over one of its commercials. For years Carl’s Jr and Hardees used to use scantily clad models and Paris Hilton in their commercials before its corporate parent CKE Restaurants changed their advertising strategy just last year.