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The Counter Burger Using Their Restaurant Email List as a Propaganda Machine

Posted on 07/30/2011 9:28:40 AM PDT by AFR

I apologize if I am not posting in the correct forum or doing anything else incorrectly, but this is my first Free Republic post.

I am on the email list for The Counter Burger which is a glorified burger joint. We've eaten there in the past and so I signed up for their email list.

Yesterday, I received an email from them that made me believe they are now using their email list as a propaganda machine instead of a restaurant email list. The email was one image that was CLEARLY an allusion to the Obama campaign - the exact same colors, the same type of imagery - clearly sending the underlying message that Obama's "hope and change" is what is needed. The email states that the Counter is "serious about finding a solution to the debt-ceiling" and tells the recipients of the email (presumably everyone on the restaurant's email list) to "Call, Email, Skype, Tweet, or Facebook" their representatives in DC to "demand they reach an agreement before the August 2 deadline."

First off, there is varied opinion as to whether August 2 truly is a "deadline," so the premise is invalid.

Second, you're a burger joint - why are you turning into a propaganda machine and sending these messages to people who simply want a good burger?

Third, there is MUCH varied opinion as to whether or not the "agreement" that is expected is prudent or wise. In fact, there are many who believe the best thing for our nation is to not see the hopey-changey "agreement" that is expected to be passed by August 2.

Fourth, seriously? Using Obama's campaign imagery as an underlying message? This doesn't look like propaganda to you, Counter Burger?

Of course this is a free country and The Counter, as a business, is perfectly permitted to have a political opinion and express its opinion. However, with my pocketbook, I am also expressing my opinion back to The Counter. I will no longer eat at any Counter Burger. Send me emails about your burgers and I'll go eat them. But don't send me political propaganda. Until the propaganda is permanently stopped, I'll stick with In-N-Out.

If you feel the same, you may "Call, Email, Skype, Tweet, or Facebook" your friends to let them know what Counter Burger is doing, and contact their marketing manager, Mike Costello, at 866 4BURGER x 106 or 310 559 3355 x 106. You can also contact them through their contact page here:

To see the Counter Burger email content, go here:

To see Obama campaign photos to compare colors and imagery, go to and

TOPICS: Food; Local News; Miscellaneous; Society
KEYWORDS: boycott; burger; obama; propaganda

1 posted on 07/30/2011 9:28:46 AM PDT by AFR
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Email or call in a complaint. If true, hard-core progressives run the company, they’ll ignore you. If it’s just a bone-headed decision on the part of a marketing newbie, they’ll fold.

2 posted on 07/30/2011 9:34:48 AM PDT by ChocChipCookie (Jonah is my patron saint.)
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Never give out your email to any business, they’ll just annoy the hell out of you one way or the other.

3 posted on 07/30/2011 9:41:56 AM PDT by FrankR ("If you can't make them see the light, let them feel the heat." - R. Reagan)
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Completely transparent lefties... F them.

4 posted on 07/30/2011 9:47:09 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: ChocChipCookie

Thanks, ChocChipCookie. I did both email and left a voicemail message.

5 posted on 07/30/2011 9:47:39 AM PDT by AFR
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The best thing you can do is to stop patronizing their business and tell they exactly why.

It’s a really foolish business person who intentionally alienates half their customer base. Even those who agree with the burger joint owner’s politics may think (and frankly, should think) it’s presumptious to be told to email their representatives.

More likely it’s come from an overzealous marketing droid...

6 posted on 07/30/2011 10:09:18 AM PDT by 5by5
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Welcome. Burger threads usually get a good deal of activity.

Please take a moment to read

What is the value of Free Republic?

and join the (small number of) folks who pay the bills for this great site.

7 posted on 07/30/2011 10:20:59 AM PDT by don-o (Abolish FReepathons. Be a monthly donor.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Print out and crazy glue to door. How many of their non-email customers know they are Obamunists?

8 posted on 07/30/2011 10:45:24 AM PDT by Excellence
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Some companies have injected politics...

—I love Pepsi though at one point their logo started to look a bit too much like the 0bama logo

—New Yorkers Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield moved to VT and paid for a correspondence course on how to make ice cream. One of their gimmicks was “1 per cent for peace”

>>In 1988, ben & jerry’s protested Ronald Reagan’s military spending by launching its 1% for peace campaign. It came out with Peace Pops. They knew taking such political stands were risky for business.

—There was a bit of controversy when a company called Peace, Love, and Little Donuts set up their products within a downtown Pittsburgh eatery named Fernando’s. The president of the company is opposed to gay marriage, though the advertising for the company made them seem like hippie heaven. (Ron Razete, on his blog: “This crowd will not rest until Homosexuality is mainstream; until the Second Amendment is done away with; until abortion on demand is as common and accepted as going to the dentist; until sexual images and strip clubs line our streets and suburbs...until disagreement with their political party is “hate speech” and becomes a crime; until they pass the Fairness Doctrine and rid the county of Conservative talk radio” etc

One response to this, on foodburgh, com: “Part of the controversy revolves around the seemingly liberal name of the store, which some see as a “bait and switch lure” to attract progressive customers.Whatever the reason for the name, the man has a right to his opinion, but he won’t be getting any of my “pink dollars”.”—John R. Carman

9 posted on 07/30/2011 10:47:41 AM PDT by raccoonradio
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Why would you ever go back after something like that?

10 posted on 07/30/2011 11:43:50 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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This is why I no longer buy Pepsi products. They changed the Pepsi logo to intentionally resemble the Obama logo. Fine, but I don't have to buy what they sell, either.
11 posted on 07/30/2011 12:09:05 PM PDT by Nepeta
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To: Nepeta

Nepeta: This is why I no longer buy Pepsi products.

*chuckle* That brings back memories. The last time I drank a Pepsi Cola was at the Pepsi pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair in Brooklyn. I figured what the heck, it is only 4 ounces, maybe this time...

I got to the middle of the walkway over the moat before it came back up. Just like the time before, and the time before that. I was a slow-learner back then, but I did raise the level of the moat by one cubic gut-full.

I have not a clue why I was allergic but I never drank Pepsi again. (Coke didn’t bother me.)

12 posted on 07/30/2011 12:41:19 PM PDT by Peet (Leftists think personal liberty is so important it must be carefully rationed.)
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The same graphic is posted right on the front page of their website.

It’s a small company. The founder and CEO is Jeff Weinstein from West L.A. You can probably reach him easily enough by calling the main line and trying extensions 101, 102, 103...

HQ: (310) 559-3355

Or just log onto Yelp and post your favorite food poisoning stories. It’s what the libs did when they were mad at Chick-fil-A.

13 posted on 07/30/2011 1:32:17 PM PDT by bornred
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I had a completely different take on the graphic. I actually thought the design was intentionally derisive of Obama. It’s impossible to tell “which side” the business supports because the solicitation only suggests we encourage Congress to reach a resolution. That’s pretty neutral, but the transition from ketchup to call-up is a bit of a breach. Now that they’ve opened up the subject, I’d like to know what their affiliation really is. I think it’s cowardly to incite people this way, and not be up front about their position. That’s the reason why I won’t go back.

14 posted on 07/30/2011 7:18:12 PM PDT by Cellar Door
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The Chamber of Commerce agrees with the burger joint.

“”The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is organizing its members to call members of Congress at tell them “default is not an option.”

Warning that the government’s failure to make good on its obligations means “there will be real impacts, for every American. Interest rates will rise for everyone,” wrote Bruce Josten, the Chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs.

He added that Congress and President Barack Obama must also agree to a plan to lower the federal budget deficit.””

“The White House and Congress face a looming August 2 deadline to resolve their differences and raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. The need to raise the debt ceiling provides leverage for meaningful, long-term, bipartisan action to rein in long-term deficit spending and entitlement reform. Financial markets would be reassured and we’d avoid a potential spike in interest rates, which will only stall our struggling economy.”

The burger joint message is “Get this fixed”. I don’t see the message particularly comes down for either side. They just say get it done.

15 posted on 07/30/2011 9:41:43 PM PDT by tlb
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Good for you! What a stupid business move! They want to do to their customer base what the NYT did to their’s?

You should include a copy of the e-mail you got to your notifications so people can see for themselves what offended you.

Also this is a conservative news discussion forum and you might get a bunch of stuff for joining just to post a personal activism crusade. Anyway, it is a good crusade and I am very glad you are doing something about it! Anyone who is not wanting Obama in office should know about it and boycott the resturant.

Good luck!!

16 posted on 07/30/2011 10:25:11 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: bornred

Thanks, bornred. I did find Weinstein’s voicemail and left a message. Great idea.

17 posted on 08/01/2011 11:27:56 AM PDT by AFR
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To: tlb

Tlb, thanks for the insight. I would expect the Chamber of Commerce, however, to express its political opinion. I certainly never expected that of this burger joint.

18 posted on 08/01/2011 11:28:07 AM PDT by AFR
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To: SaraJohnson

Thanks, SaraJohnson. To be clear, I read Free Republic - I just never had posted before. And it wasn’t so much that I wanted to start a personal activism crusade as much as I wanted to inform others who are like-minded so that they knew and could act if they wanted. I, personally, have acted upon it, but I certainly don’t expect or assume others will.

Someone was able to post a copy of the email graphic in this same thread above so people could see what it said. I appreciate their doing that since I didn’t know how.

19 posted on 08/01/2011 11:28:12 AM PDT by AFR
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Just a follow-up:

I didn’t receive a call or email back from The Counter Burger so I called them and spoke to the marketing manager. He said he was “just going to call” me.

Basically, he said that it “certainly wasn’t” their intent to make imagery that looked exactly like Obama’s campaign and that they hadn’t realized it. When I asked if it was purely a coincidence that the colors and type of imagery were exactly the same (right down to which side was red and which side was blue, and where the logo was placed), he then shifted to a “We want to be relevant” tactic. He said that Counter Burger was founded upon the idea that people have a voice in how they want their burger done and that this was an extension of that. He said they didn’t see harm in encouraging people to contact their representatives to express their own opinion. I pointed out that the email they sent doesn’t tell them to express their own opinion but tells them the opinion to express - no- “demand” a certain opinion (basically - to vote for the Reid or Boehner plan), then uses suggestive imagery.

By the end of the call, he actually was spinning it (most of the call was spin) as that the promotion worked because the point was to get people expressing their opinion and I was expressing mine to him. I reminded him that while I had already expressed my opinion to my representatives, the only other expression of opinion being done was about the Counter’s marketing campaign and with my wallet by no longer patronizing The Counter. After a lot of spin and being challenged on it, he ended up admitting that the imagery may not have been clear. He said that when they send out the email about the free fries, they will use different imagery. He also added that they would “be more careful about wording” on the email.

20 posted on 08/02/2011 5:28:39 AM PDT by AFR
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