Gourmet Burger Kitchen removes advert after it is branded 'racist'

A burger chain has created a social media storm for advertising a new Indian-inspired product by standing outside curry houses and telling punters they are 'not real Indians'.

Published 19th Oct 2018
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Gourmet Burger Kitchen's controversial new marketing campaign for its Ruby Murray burger has provoked outrage from Twitter users, who have branded the footage 'embarrassing' and 'tone deaf'.

Numerous people demanded the restaurant chain, which has 85 stores across the UK, delete the video and fire their marketing team.

GBK's website says the £9.95 burger is a lamb patty seasoned with Indian spices, samosa aloo, mango chutney, cucumber raita, poppadom - all served in a sesame seed bun.

The offending tweet reads: 'Your favourite curry is not authentic. Try a proper Indian' with a video attached of a man in a sandwich board standing outside various Indian restaurants.

Picture: Gourmet Burger Kitchen Facebook

In the first few seconds of the footage, the man says: "This is a proper Indian, these are curry lies" while pointing at a restaurant he is standing in front of.

Members of the public are approached and staff are heckled as the walking advert suggests each business is 'not a proper Indian'.

One member of staff appears to ask him to move along saying: "Nah mate it's not a proper Indian, can you move along please?"

To which the marketer replies: "No it is a proper Indian" before walking away.

He also appears to enter one restaurant to use the bathroom and is told to leave. He is then met with expletives after asking if he can order the Ruby Murray burger from the curry house.

One user tweeted: "Probably want to take this one down guys. Nobody wants to buy anything from a company that is harassing and attempting to take business away from small business owners.

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"Issue some apologies to those businesses, and try another direction in advertising."

Lucy Moon commented: "Harassing people and taking business away from smaller restaurants isn't funny."

Another Twitter user said: "Clearly you don't have a single BAME person in your PR/Marketing team.

"Once you've fired them all for this hot mess let me know who I can send my CV over to."

Since deluge of complaints, Gourmet Burger Kitchen has taken down the video and issued this response.

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The campaign was the product of a collaboration with marketing company You Agency, who have insisted that there was “no racist angle” in the clip.

Speaking to The Drum, You’s chief executive Michael Carr said: "Our campaigns have always been rooted in an unwavering belief in the quality of the burgers, and in this instance the joke is in the absurdity that a curry burger could possibly compete with genuine Indian cuisine.”

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