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BK settles ad dispute with Postal Service

USPS complained about portrayal of mail carrier in an ad last year

Burger King and the U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday they have settled a dispute about the chain’s portrayal of mailmen in a commercial that aired last year.

The commercial, which promoted Burger King’s new breakfast menu, showed a character dressed like a letter carrier singing, “With pancakes and eggs on my plate, the mail has to wait.”

The ad prompted the USPS and its attorneys to send a letter to Burger King, arguing that the commercial portrayed letter carriers “in a less than favorable light” and that it used a trademarked uniform and logo without its permission.

In a statement to Nation’s Restaurant News, Burger King said its ad agency at the time, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, negotiated a licensing agreement with the USPS in response to the complaint that called for revising the logo on the mail carrier’s uniform in the commercial.

The chain also noted in its statement that it has since stopped running the TV spot and had no plans to air it in the future.

In an interview Wednesday, USPS spokesman Dave Lewin said even though Burger King’s commercial had a whimsical tone, “we take [the portrait of the letter carrier] very seriously.”

He said he expected Burger King to run a commercial in the future depicting a delivery person who does not look like a Postal Service letter carrier.

“A lot of people don’t recognize the fact that the Postal Service has a highly visible brand identity and has a responsibility to protect that brand,” Lewin said. “We look forward to seeing how the future message will look.”

Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which was behind the first ad, is no longer Burger King’s agency of record after parting ways with the chain in March. The split with its longtime ad agency came as Burger King made changes to its marketing and operations structure. The chain also said this spring it would conduct more market research to help broaden its appeal beyond its core 18-to-35 male demographic.

Burger King looks to broaden brand message
BK’s CMO Franco leaves amid realignment

In other Burger King marketing news, participating restaurants of the chain will soon offer a free 20-ounce soft drink with the purchase of a Whopper, Double Whopper, Triple Whopper or Angry Whopper. The promotion is set to run May 30-June 26, Burger King said in a press release Wednesday.

Contact Alan Snel at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @AlanSnelNRN

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