De-Friend Ten People For A Free Whopper

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[Junk Food]
It hasn't escaped my notice that America's advertising industry continues to bundle product merchandising with insatiable selfishness between two sadism-seed buns. I thought I'd seen these campaigns peak with slogans like Twix's, "Two for me, none for you" campaign, or the myriad of commercials showing people making others suffer in tawdry amusement at the altar of materialism (My favorite was Toyota demonstrating how quiet their car's interior was by locking a passenger in the cabin with a light-sleeping flesh-hungry critter), but Burger King apparently went so far, even Facebook said "Hold the mayo!"

At the first of the year, Burger King released the "Whopper Sacrifice" application on the social-networking Facebook website, allowing Facebook users to dump 10 of their Facebook friends and get a coupon for a free burger. The application, which received widespread publicity, was used by 82,000 people to delete more than 230,000 friendships on Facebook.

On Wednesday night, David Swain, a spokesman for Facebook in Palo Alto, Calif., said the website had placed restrictions on the use of the application. Some concerns about privacy had been raised, because when Facebook friends were deleted, they were notified that it was because of the "defriending."

It's bad enough to have someone abandon you as a friend, but over a really bad fast food item? Isn't this one of the signs of the apocolypse?

Swain issued a statement Thursday morning that said: "We encourage creativity from developers and companies using [the] Facebook platform, but we also must ensure that applications meet users expectations."

After constructive conversations with Burger King and the developer of the application, they have decided to conclude their campaign rather than continue with the restrictions we placed on their application.

A Burger King spokeswoman said: "While Facebook was a great sport, they did ask for changes that would have resulted in a different approach to our application, counter to what we developed. Ultimately, based on philosophical differences, we decided to conclude the campaign and chose to 'sacrifice' the application."

It turns out the "changes" Facebook required were that according to their policies, you can't notify a friend they've been dropped. Burger King didn't see the value in not adding that sadistic component to their marketing strategy so they discontinued the project.

Whopper Sacrifice was created by Burger King's ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky of Miami, which also crafted the Whopper Virgins and Flame burger-scented cologne ads. Congrats Crispin Porter + Bogusky. You've reached new lows in mining the depth of emptiness in today's consumers.

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