Fast food chain Arby’s launched a support hotline for vegetarians and it has non-meat eaters up in arms.
Arby’s has added brown sugar bacon to restaurant menus across the U.S. To help promote the new item an advertising campaign featuring a “vegetarian support hotline” with the phone number 1-855-MEAT-HLP.
As part of the promotion a tweet was sent out on the company’s Twitter account featuring a roast beef sandwich with bacon and details on how vegetarians can seek help:
Vegetarians, vegans and animal rights activists didn’t take long to respond:
A video was posted on YouTube that also rubbed non-meat eaters the wrong way:
One viewer wrote:
“I'm a vegan. The sight of that bacon makes me feel sick to my stomach, so a support line is not necessary. Thanks though.”
“When you support Arby’s, you rob your future children of basic things like clean drinking water. Good game, humans! The only species dumb enough to willingly wipe itself out.”
There were many other comments from offended vegetarians; most of them contain foul language. But a few YouTube users came to the support of Arby’s.
A viewer of the video commented:
“You guys need to stop being offended by a lighthearted advertisement for fast-food. It's goal is not to harm or offend anybody, therefore you shouldn't act like it is a personal attack against you.”
Another shared the details of the hotline:
“If you call the number you can either (#1) be encouraged to continue being a vegetarian or (#2) you can make a brown sugar bacon confession. Dang it Arby's! Shut Up And Take My Money! ...and give me some of that sweet sweet brown sugar bacon please.”
Arby’s did write a letter to vegetarians to help cool the tension but it probably didn’t help any:
We respect you. We respect your life decisions. With that in mind, we want it to be abundantly clear that this letter is not meant to sway or convert you. We're sharing this to offer our support.
Nearly a year ago, we embarked on a journey to tell America about our meats. By now, you've likely heard the Arby's tagline: We Have The Meats®. It's tough to hear, but it is what it is. We have many meats. And we have quality meats.
It is understandable that you disapprove of our meat-bravado. Your voices have been heard. Letters, emails, voicemails, Tweets and Facebook comments - we hear you. We love our meats, but realize they're not for everyone.
Then on Sunday, June 28, we launched a meat innovation that has likely tempted you: Brown Sugar Bacon. It's our pepper bacon, glazed in-restaurant with brown sugar and then cooked to perfection. It may be hard to resist…even for you. Hardcore vegetarians likely won't budge, but for those of you who are on the fringe or new to the game, avoidance can't be easy.
We, at Arby's, have created this temptation. So, we'd like to help.
We're giving you a number to call: 1-855-MEAT-HLP. This is a Vegetarian Support Hotline. When your nose betrays you and alerts the rest of your senses to find and devour this sweet meat, please call 1-855-MEAT-HLP. You will receive the support you need to resist this gateway meat and get tips on how to avoid temptation. Delicious. Sizzling. Temptation.
Be strong. We're here for you.
What are your thoughts on Arby's campaign? Are they rubbing a little too much salt...brown sugar bacon in the wounds of vegetarians? Or do vegetarians need to grow thicker skin?
Let us know what you think in the comments section or on the discussion board.