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May 31, 2007

Jack in the Box Scores Direct Hit on Angus Name

Jack in the Box logoThe blogosphere is alight with the recently fired off by CKE Restaurants over Jack in the Box’s new ads that makes a rather rude suggestion about the origin of the "Angus beef" which is served by CKE’s Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. You can see the ads in question below.

Jack in the Box better brace itself, because Burger King and McDonald’s also use Angus beef.

From the suit:

While Defendant may find humorous the aural and phonetic similarities between the words "Angus" and "anus," [the ads foster] the erroneous notion that all cuts of Angus beef are derived from the anus of beef cattle.

There is almost no way you can read that aloud without laughing. I’d say that I feel sorry for the lawyers who have to prosecute this except its simply too hard to pity lawyers getting involved in such a frivolous case.

On the other hand, there is a huge amount of brand name equity tied up in the quality usually associated with "Angus beef," and these ads are indeed quickly doing away with all that.

I wonder how it will be filed? CKE vs. Jack in the Box Re: Angus vs. Anus — possibly the most ridiculous name for a lawsuit in history.

Jack in the Box, for their part, defends itself by pointing to an ad by Carl’s Jr. that makes a clearly false but very humorous suggestion about why their milkshakes are superior to the rest:

Is it false advertising or simply excessively childish?

I’m not sure, but it will be very hard for me to think of the words "Angus beef" without thinking of Jack in the Box. Which is kind of the point.

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Posted by William Lozito at May 31, 2007 9:43 AM
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I guess it doesn't help Burger King's case that their "Dr. Angus" character uses Angus beef to teach people to sit. There's only a one-letter difference between "anus" and "angus", and there's only a one-letter difference between "sit" and...

JitB does make a very good point. Just because a company uses "Angus" beef, that doesn't necessarily mean that they are using a quality cut of the Angus beef. For all you know, they could well be using that other "A word" part of the beef. JitB the box is saying that what part of beef is used is more important than the pedigree of the bull itself. I can't say whether or not that claim is valid, but they certainly have come across with a noteworthy way of making their point.

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