Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Burger King Calls Global Warming "Baloney"

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2009 at 8:19 PM

UPDATE: This story has been updated here. A Burger King Corporation spokesperson has told the Flyer that the signage in question was limited to "five stores." Flyer readers have reported at least 10 stores that at one point had the signage. Whatever the number, the language was put up by a local franchiser, and does not reflect BK's corporate outlook.

acf4/1243473985-bk1.jpg I must admit that the nightmares I have about Burger King's regally creepy mascot already leave a bad taste in my mouth. But if the fast food industry's most famous underdogs are really taking a stand against global warming science, I'm breaking up with the oh-so-delicious Whopper for good. And I mean it this time.

Businesses usually don't court political controversy, but signs at (at least) two Memphis Burger King locations read: "Global Warming is Baloney." According to one employee at the Burger King on Union Avenue and Pauline, that's no mistake.

Care to eavesdrop on my incredibly strange conversation with a female BK employee who didn't identify herself? Read on.

Me: Hi, I'm calling from the Flyer about your sign. Does Burger King really think global warming is baloney?
BK: [Hangup]
Me:(calling back): Your sign out front says global warming is baloney.
BK: I don't see that sir.
Me: Well it does.
BK: I don't see that sir... I change the signs and that sign's been up for a week.
Me: Well, I have pictures that I took this afternoon [cross conversation ensuring I'm calling the correct BK. I am]
Me: So there's no question that your sign said it and so did one in Midtown. I want to know if it was on purpose or if it was a prank someone pulled on you.
BK: Let me get the manager. [several minutes of dead air then the same or very similar voice picks up.]
BK: Who were you holding for?
Me: A manager, about the sign. I have pictures of the sign and people have called me upset. I just want to know if it's a mistake or not so I can report it. [rehash of previous conversation]
BK: Let me go outside and look at the sign and I'll call you right back. [exchange of contact info]
9050/1243473801-1243468242-img_0153.jpg
[phone rings, I answer]
BK: The sign was put up yesterday.
Me: And it's not a mistake?
BK: No.
Me: It reflects the opinion of BK international?
BK: Yes. Would you like to talk to the home office? I can give you a number.
Me: I've got the number, I've already contacted them. Thanks.

When it comes to climate change, BK doesn't have the best reputation. Climatecounts.org, a not-for-profit organization that rates companies based on attitudes toward global warming, describes Burger King as "A choice to avoid for the climate-conscious shopper." But there's certainly more to this story, and we'll let readers know 35d5/1243468390-img_0161.jpgwhat's up when we hear back from BK HQ.

And shouldn't the people who make lunch meat — the blue collar alternative to dining out — be miffed?

The three photos are of the BKs on Union at Pauline and the BK on Union near Cooper.

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