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Burger King CEO John Chidsey only wants young men in his Burger Kings and says that’s why he puts women in the ads

May 19, 2009

In a move destined to push Burger King CEO John Chidsey right into the Old White Men’s Club (R) before his time, Chidsey says that the consumers destined to make him money are the 16-24 year old men–who cares about the rest, or so the story goes.  I had generously given Chidsey the Asshole Business Award of the Week when the Spongebob ad came out, but I think Chidsey could win it all over again this week with his pronouncement about how he is betting that these men will be his bread and butter, or really his big burger.  He sees no reason to change what he believes is his winning strategy:Chidsey doesn’t see a need for radical change.

“I think we’ve been doing the right things,” he argues. “I say let’s play it out.” But critics wonder if Burger King can effectively push budget offerings such as its $1 Whopper Jr. while continuing to build a brand based on cheeky, male-oriented messages. “They don’t have the brand of affordability,” says UBS (UBS) analyst David Palmer. Restaurant owners, meanwhile, complain that ads create buzz—the SpongeBob spot was viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube—but cost them business. That campaign, which featured the King measuring women’s “square butts,” prompted 10,000 angry letters and, owners say, failed to result in higher sales.

Store owners are not happy with

John Chidsey CEO of Burger King, the Doofus behind the BK ads that offend parents, minorities and hopefully everyone outside the young white  male group

John Chidsey CEO of Burger King, the Doofus behind the BK ads that offend parents, minorities and hopefully everyone outside the young white male group

him, but his investment firm is, saying they think he has “delivered.”  I don’t know about you, but if your investment firm is the only one who likes you in this current economic climate, I would say you have some serious problems.  Hello Chidsey, here is a little Unasked Advice:  take a lesson from GM–your entire market can’t be based on men–it’s all an illusion.

All of these male-based companies that focus on only half of the population’s gender, and then only in a partial representation at that, because the minorities in the ads are the sales gimicks, like the “spicy Mexican” or the big cartoon-like “Sir Mixalot,” which makes it look like the only guys eating at Burger King would be the white men, as all others are relegated to advertising jokes.

Careful John Chidsey, you might want to talk with Rick Wagoner before you defend all your failing business prectices.  Taking advice from investment firms and financial institutions is shady business these days and may just get you fired by the President.

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