Burger King has reportedly apologized to Mary J. Blige and her fans after releasing an unflattering ad that garnered some serious backlash.
The ad in question featured Blige singing about Burger King's new menu, specifically the new chicken snack wraps, reported the Associated Press. However, the ad is being criticized by some members of the black community for portraying stereotypes.
On Monday, when the ad was released, it immediately went viral. However, Burger King pulled the ad on Tuesday, for what it described as licensing issues with the music, reported the AP. They apologized for airing an ad that was not final, reported TMZ.
Blige responded to criticisms and seemed to agree with the claims of festering stereotypes.
I agreed to be part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence, Mary J Blige told TMZ. Unfortunately, that's not what was happening in that clap. I understand my fans being upset by what they saw. But if you're a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw go out.
Burger King also enlisted the help of other celebrities, including David Beckham drinking a new Burger King smoothie, and comedian Jay Leno driving a 1967 Corvette straight into a restaurant and grabbing some food, reported the Miami Herald.
The marketing campaign comes as Burger King begins to lag behind its competitors. They have unleashed a new menu to go along with the new campaign in order to reinvigorate customers to start buying their products again. For years, the company has seen declining sales due to McDonald's, Wendy's and Subway.
Burger King hopes the new menu will the new menu items put an emphasis on quality and offer healthy food items. It is the company's attempt to broaden Burger King's target audience beyond young males. Burger King has introduced fresh smoothies, new salads and mocha and frappe drinks in an effort to appeal to women and children.
We wanted to make sure we went out with a message that caught people's attention, said Alexandre Macedo, senior vice president of marketing for North America, reported the Miami Herald. The reaction we want from consumers is, 'I want to go out and taste it myself.'
However, the last thing the company wanted was to produce controversial ads at a time when they are attempting to rebrand themselves.
We would like to apologize to Mary J. and all of her fans for airing an ad that was not final, said the company in a statement, according to TMZ.
Check out the controversial ad below.