Arby's new ad campaign, "Slicing Up The Truth About Freshness," has offended some Iowa residents and has prompted an apology and a revised commercial from the brand.
The offensive commercial features former New York City Police Detective Bo Dietl on a mission to "expose the truth about fresh slicing." During the original commercial, which has since been changed, Dietl points out that Arby's competitors (namely Subway) get their meat pre-sliced from a Mount Pleasant, Iowa, food plant.
The message suggests that the meat is less fresh: "That's a long way for a turkey sandwich," Dietl said in the original commercial.
Many Iowans jumped on Facebook to declare their boycott of Arby's until the commercial was pulled.
According to Iowa news station KCRG, the employees took the message personally because: "It's their job to make sure their product is safe, healthy and in no way less fresh than any other product."
On Tuesday, Arby's released a statement to the Des Moines Register confirming that the advertising would be revised to remove the reference and replaced as soon as possible, "which should be no more than a few days."
Today, Arby's released another apology on its Facebook page, along with a full statement from chief marketing officer Russ Klein that reads, in part:
"I want to extend my sincerest apologies over offending the good people of Iowa as a result of our new advertising campaign, "Slicing up the Truth about Freshness". I am responsible for Arby's advertising, and I approved the work in question. Please know that in no way was the advertising ever designed to disparage the state of Iowa, but rather the advertising was meant to dramatize the distance between Subway's slicing facilities and any given Subway restaurant.
"Odd as it may sound to you...our line of thinking was that we owed viewers all of the information in terms of accurately depicting the proximity of Subways' slicing facility and any given Subway restaurant. Nonetheless, we did not intend to offend any Iowans; so I owe you a personal and professional apology accordingly.
"Our advertising was revised to remove any reference to Iowa, within 48 hours of understanding the seriousness of the matter. The revised commercials have been trafficked to all TV stations...and should be on air this week."
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