Red Robin Ad Offends Vegetarians by Suggesting They're in a 'Phase'

Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 12:50 PM

By Ken Mandel

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A Red Robin ad targeted at vegetarians for their garden burgers has backfired and will soon be off the air.

In the spot, an actress dressed as a server promotes the chain's 24 types of burgers, and explains that Red Robin caters to "a lot of different tastes." She then puts a hand up over the side of her mouth and slyly adds, "We even have a garden burger just in case your teenage daughter is going through a phase."

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The message offended the audience Red Robin was hoping to attract, and many complained on the company's Facebook page, as well as other social media sites.

"My family used to eat at Red Robin. Fortunately, it was just a phase," one Facebook user wrote.

Others called the ad "insensitive" and "spit on the faces of every vegetarian."

Others told those who were offended to "lighten up," and that Red Robin is known for their burgers, not for their vegetarian options.

Red Robin senior director of communications Kevin Caulfield did not apologize for the ad.

"We created a number of ads and we have a rotation schedule that is intended to keep the campaign fresh," he said. "This particular ad is planned to be out of rotation and no longer on the air very soon."

About 3.2 percent of U.S. adults are vegetarian, according to MSNMoney.

This isn't the first time an ad has offended a large group of people. GoDaddy.com offended some during the 2013 Super Bowl, when they aired a commercial depicting a make-out session between supermodel Bar Refaeli and a nerd.

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