"I stand here today uncomfortable with using the word 'anus.'"


In a case I really wish I could work on, a judge in Southern California has refused to issue a preliminary injunction barring Jack in the Box from running ads implying that its competitors' "Angus Burgers" are actually "Anus Burgers." The story is here. The above quote is an actual statement by one of the plaintiffs' attorneys during the preliminary injunction hearing, as reproduced in a print article that doesn't seem to have an online version. Needless to say, I would suffer no discomfort whatsoever in using the term "anus" repeatedly in open court. My only difficulty would be in suppressing the inevitable giggles.

Here are the ads in question:



The anus joke is much more blatant in the "Chuckles" spot, though the connotation is also loud and clear in the "Diagram" spot (right down to the guy drawing a little circle in the air when he says "angus"). I wonder if the folks behind the "Chuckles" ad contemplated a shot where the tip of Jack's hat obscures the "G" in "ANGUS." It seems like that would have been easy to do but may have oversold the joke or run afoul of the censors. Still, they're pretty good ads. And as a general matter I think it's great that anus jokes are making their way into fast food advertising.


This reminds me of a practical joke my high school friends and I once tried against Black Angus -- trying to cover up the G on the streetsign with construction paper. Ultimately, we discovered the sign was well guarded, and covered up the S and the E in a "Shoe Repair" sign.

True story.

You would think Jack in the Box of all places would be leery of anything reminding people that the e. coli (aka "gut flora") living in their burgers killed people in the mid-90s. If I were their marketing team, I would avoid any ads reminding people of the very existence of anuses, shit or bacteria.

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on July 3, 2007 1:43 PM.

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