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Would you like flies with that? The restaurant industry’s race to the bottom.

What began as a trickle, has now become a flood. First, Burger King releases a tasteless commercial aimed at children that features the square posteriors of some hoochie coochie dancers gyrating to the beat of Sir Mix A Lot’s salacious “Baby’s Got Back.”

Next, Slate magazine reports on Burger King’s unappetizing entree, the “Super 7 incher,” and an advertising campaign that must have been inspired by the feats of Linda Lovelace.

A different kind of manwich.

And, now the rest of the industry is trying to get in on the act. If you haven’t heard it yet, T.G.I. Fridays is airing a radio advertisement in many media markets that takes sex in advertising to an entirely new low. The ad features callers who leave what at first appears to be a series of sexually explicit messages on the T.G.I. Friday’s cook’s answering machine, complimenting him on his prowess. The cook proceeds to play back each message but halts right before it is revealed that they are actually alluding to his food and not foreplay. And, in an alltime media low, there is even a veiled reference to getting grandma in on the hot and heavy.

Where's the beef?  Don't ask.

Where's the beef? You don't want to know.

You would think that the restaurant industry, of all businesses, would steer clear of the derriere for at two reasons. First, a sizeable portion of the public is going to be turned off by the use of sexually provocative themes in advertisements. I don’t just mean the prudes at Dr. Dobson’s Focus on the Family, but garden-variety people who seek a safe and family friendly atmosphere for dining with their children, parents, and friends. Second, nobody needs to be subtly reminded of the constant stream of news reports about rogue chain restaurant workers adding bodily fluids to the ingredients of the recipes as this scene from the movie Road Trip demonstrates.

Bon Appetit!

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