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A farmer responds to Chipotle’s “fiction and fear” ad campaign

Guest blog by Andrew Campbell

Have you seen the YouTube video getting rave reviews for Chipotle Mexican Grill? AdWeek says, “Branded entertainment goes doesn’t get much more well rounded or better executed than this.” I’m not quite as impressed.

Chipotle is trying to take on Big Food with the idea that a small, independent scarecrow is more sustainable than a large company. This is problem number one for me. Chipotle implies that big is bad, and small is good (which is strange for a company that had sales of 2.7 billion dollars in 2012).

Problem number two are the production practices it implies. As you can see from the video, a chicken gets a needle that instantly doubles the size of the bird. To me, I get the idea that growth hormones are juicing up the bird. The problem is that hormones are not given to chickens in Canada or the United States. They’ve been illegal for years. So is Chipotle only using fear to mislead consumers?

The third problem, and the one I take personally, is the image of the cows – locked in boxes and piled high, in what looks to be a dark milking machine. It disgusts me to think a company that pushes the idea of integrity, is low enough to mislead consumers again with simple lies. Cows aren’t locked up in boxes and kept in the dark. A picture of our farm shows a completely different sight, yet somehow gets knocked down by a company that only appears to be a big bully.

Because Chipotle clearly is making its name slamming other groups with fiction and fear, I’m going to be filing a complaint with Advertising Standards Canada.

According to the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, “advertisements must not contain inaccurate, deceptive or otherwise misleading claims, statements, illustrations or representations, either direct or implied, with regard to any identified or identifiable product(s) or service(s).” Clearly these two images are that.

I also feel that Chipotle is breaking a second standard of that code that states, “Advertisements must not exploit superstitions or play upon fears to mislead the consumer.”

Farmers are working hard to produce high-quality, safe and nutritious foods, and frankly, I’m tired of being bullied around by groups that only try to use fear, guilt, misconceptions or outright lies to get you to change your mind in what you eat.

I hope instead you get the real story, from a real farmer. After all, we are proud of the role we play at bringing food to your table.

Andrew Campbell farms in Middlesex County, raising dairy cows and crops on his family farm.



Posted by Farm and Food Care on September 26th, 2013 :: Filed under Agricultural Advocates,Agriculture Education,Animal care,Consumers,Dairy cattle,Education and public awareness,Farm life,Speaking out
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2 Responses to “A farmer responds to Chipotle’s “fiction and fear” ad campaign”

  1. pat galas
    September 27th, 2013

    i agree with mr campbells comments

  2. Mrs. Egger
    September 27th, 2013

    Great article, well written. I strongly agree with you Andrew.
    Farmers take a lot of pride in what they do. They are very passionate about their animals, their land and the products that they produce. Farming is A LOT of work but in return it is extremely rewarding. Remember this is a cartoon/animation and should not get confused with reality. A real farm is full of life, energy and passion. It’s a wonderful way of life and a great place to raise a family!
    P.S. Have you seen the parody? I’m sure you’ll enjoy it… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/chipotle-scarecrow-parody_n_3953692.html

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