by Chris Davis
Bad news for Memphis fast food junkies: Locally appearing Burger King signs reading “Global Warming is Baloney” aren't a tone-deaf marketing campaign for some delicious new Whopper-loni sandwich. Darn it.
On the other hand ecologically-minded consumers can breathe a little easier knowing that Burger King Corp. (BKC), the company that licenses BK franchises, isn't going on the warpath against global warming science.
On Friday, May 29 Susan Robison, Vice President, Corporate Communications for the Burger King Corporation, dropped The Flyer an email containing BKC's official — if not fully informed — statement regarding the signs.
This statement [“Global Warming is baloney”] does not reflect a Burger King Corp. (BKC) opinion or view. The two restaurants where these signs appeared are independently owned and operated and were not authorized to display this statement. The signs have since been removed.
BKC believes in operating as a socially responsible company and is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where it lives and works.
When asked if the message had been removed from the other Burger Kings in the region, Robison said she would look into the situation but was only aware of the two locations mentioned at the Memphis Flyer's SING ALL KINDS blog.
Since the original posting, readers have noticed other area BKs that are comparing global warming to the popular lunch meat commonly made from organs, trimmings, and scraps from other meat processing. The stores in question are all operated by a Memphis-based fast-food management company called MIC, which operates over 40 BKs as well as three Popeye's and five All-in-One's. Bob Cook, MIC's president of retail operations, was contacted for comment but hasn't called back.
Long story short: Burger King Corp. has no official point of view regarding global warming and climate science, but somebody connected to MIC, a large local franchisee, thinks it's all baloney and wants to say so in a very public way. That same somebody has most likely received a tersely worded message all about franchise agreements and contentious brand associations. But BKC still may not have grasped the full scope of the messaging.