A growing revolt of common citizens against exaggerated global warming claims has played out at Burger Kings in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, with “Global warming is baloney” messages displayed on message boards outside the cultural icon.
Burger King franchisee Mirabile Investment Corporation (MIC) captured the international limelight for daring to speak out on the controversial political topic. Message boards outside MIC Burger Kings kept the message up for several days before the firm decided to take down the message.
“We thought it was appropriate to put that particular message up and certainly didn’t think it was anything prohibited by the franchise agreement,” MIC Marketing President J.J. McNelis told CNN’s Lou Dobbs on his June 10 Lou Dobbs Show.
When Dobbs asked McNelis whether the global warming message affected sales, McNelis replied, “In the near term nothing happened, but I’m pleased to report that ever since that time sales have actually increased. … They haven’t been hurt by it, and we’ve received a lot of favorable responses.
“We also like to think we are good and responsible corporate citizens, and part of being a good citizen is doing such things—raising social awareness and showing you have a sense of understanding of the community and so on. We don’t have any problem putting up that message, and we will certainly take whatever guff we get over it, but as I said earlier we’ve been receiving a mostly favorable response,” McNelis continued
Burger King’s corporate management expressed displeasure at MIC’s public statement regarding global warming, and it vowed to force the franchisee to remove the global warming message from its message boards. According to McNelis, however, MIC already had removed the message before hearing any negative feedback from Burger King corporate.
Replied Dobbs on his show, “My congratulations to you and your owners. … Business in this country shouldn’t be like a bunch of cockroaches that hide every time the light comes on. That’s quite a deal and very impressive that that group of folks there in Memphis with their Burger King restaurants had the guts to do that.”
E. Jay Donovan ([email protected]) writes from Tampa, Florida.