Burger King
Letter by Kenneth S. Knoppow, March 2004

Kenneth Knoppow sent this letter to Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the Advertising Agency responsible for an offensive Burger King ad campaign that represents short people as inferior in a variety of ways.

It has come to my attention that it is your agency that is responsible for one of the most offensive commercials that I have had the misfortune to see. It shows a group of office workers being given out various Burger King sandwiches. Just into the ad a very short male claims a specific sandwich. In response a very tall male states to the short male something to the effect "You ordered MY sandwich? It is said in an extremely threatening, hostile, and incredibly condescending tone. The camera then turns to the short guy and pans his frightened face for several seconds. Finally, he states in a very submissive frightened voice a simple "Yes".

If the scene had involved a black man and a white man or a man and a woman, the stereotypes involved would be obvious and the offensive nature of this ad would be readily apparent. I doubt it ever would have been considered for media play. However, because it is height rather than race or gender, it is apparently considered by you to be perfectly OK. As a male who is 5' 6", I do not consider it to be OK on any level. It is just as offensive as if it had involved race or gender.

You owe all short people a public apology and should yank this disgusting ad immediately.

The ad agency never responded but a representative from Burger King sent an innocuous reply. Mr. Knoppow followed up with this letter.