Sadly, That Ad for “a Veggie Burger That Contains Real Beef” Isn’t Real

Slate's Culture Blog
July 11 2014 4:18 PM

Sadly, That Ad for “a Veggie Burger That Contains Real Beef” Isn’t Real


This week, the above photograph of a newspaper ad for a unique brand of veggie burgers hit the Web and quickly began to go spread. “Crompton’s Beef Farm in Dorset, England, has somehow achieved the impossible,” wrote Grub Street senior editor Hugh Merwin of the “just-published newspaper ad.” “How are they allowed to advertise this?” asked College Humor. Neatorama’s Alex Santoso also took the ad at face value, reporting, “Crompton’s Beef Farm from Dorset, England, has cracked the marketing challenge of somehow selling meatful meatless veggie burger.”

Like these writers, I wanted to believe that this was a real advertisement for a real (if not really vegetarian) product. A meat company with such a whimsically absurd sense of humor would be praiseworthy indeed. Alas, a Google search turned up no results for Crompton’s Beef Farm on the appropriately named (if inappropriately spelled) Abbatoir Road in Dorset. Nor was I able to find any online purveyors of Crompton’s nut-free, 100-percent beef, preservative-free “veggie burgers.”


That’s because, as a few commenters on Imgur pointed out, the ad is fake. It’s from the most recent issue of a British humor magazine called Viz. (Click through that link and you’ll see the ad under the section heading “Letterbocks.”) According to Wikipedia, Viz specializes in “spoof adverts for various items” that “poke fun at the genuine adverts for such items in magazines found in the colour supplements of Sunday newspapers.”

Viz deserves recognition for coming up with a genuinely delightful gag. But Viz also owes a thank you to everyone who credulously passed this image around thinking it was a legitimate advertisement. It’s unlikely it would have gotten quite as many clicks and shares if the likes of Neatorama, College Humor, and Grub Street presented it for what it was: a parody.

L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong. 



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 1:52 PM Julian Casablancas’ New Album Sounds Like the Furthest Thing From the Strokes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.