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Aplogies from Canada

Hey Hounds.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm an honourary Southerner. Perhaps it's the Canadian in me that's worried about offending others. Perhaps I'm just getting old. But I found this commercial to be just about as offensive as possible: http://youtu.be/V1XwYhdftOY

For those who are unaware, Boston Pizza is a chain restaurant here in Canada and if their food wasn't offensive enough, this commercial is just too much. I was watching TV with Mrs. Sippi (which for those of you who don't know, was born in Memphis and raised in Ms) and this came on. I wanted to crawl under the couch. I was so embarrassed.

So from this Canadian to any people out there who've seen this and were offended, I apologize. We're really much better than this.

Have your say on their fb page: https://www.facebook.com/BostonPizza


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  1. Well, at least they didn't drop the n bomb.

        1. re: catroast

          Yea, because poverty is hilarious. Come on let's all have a good laugh at the less fortunate.

        2. Gotta expect Canadians to mock the southerners from Boston a little...

            1. I'm not offended so much by the commercial. I'm offended because that commercial got all the way from concept and apparently got onto the airwaves without anyone from the ad agency or the restaurant company realizing how utterly stupid the commercial is. (I started in the broadcasting and advertising business when I was 16.)

              3 Replies
              1. re: John E.

                That was my thought, too, John. How did this ever make it to the air?

                1. re: John E.

                  Agreed. The commercial is just bad taste and not funny. Whoever gave this the green light should give their head a shake. They made the actors filthy and nasty....... how does that make me want to eat your food? It is a parody of a dirt poor southern family and is meant to be funny but obviously fails. Not really offensive. The taste of Boston Pizza's food will offend Southerners far more.

                2. I wonder what will be next.

                  Boston Pizza Strong?

                  Never underestimate corporate stupidity. Whatever the country.

                  1. I cringe whenever it comes on. Not funny and I don't even think they got their racism right. Are ribs big in the Ozarks?

                    1. if the honourary 51st state can't poke some fun at a stereotype that, I can only imagine, great white northerners must view in that way, then they might as well stop telling Newfie jokes as well. I mean, if that's what they think up there already, then Boston Pizza can really sell their product to the "goofy dopes", eh?

                      I'm joking: http://www.vice.com/read/10-newfie-jokes

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Gastronomos

                        I'm not aware of anyone in the U.S. telling Newfie jokes. Maybe it's a Maine thing? I live in Minnesota and am unaware of anyone telling Canadian jokes. Are 'American jokes' popular in Canada?

                        1. re: John E.

                          The only Canadian joke I know:

                          "How do you get a bunch of Canadians out of the pool?"

                          "Will everyone please get out of the pool."

                        2. after i watched the video i couldn't remember the name of the restaurant so this was not a very good ad.

                          1. BTW, they say "ribnecks" and not "rednecks" both times... Looks like they are trying to make fun of a stereotype and not making fun of people from the "south" to me.

                            It doesn't make me want to eat at Boston Pizza.

                            Not really sure how many people from the south of the USA would even see this ad anyway.

                            1. By virtue of this post and any other discussions, the ad campaign is working. Raising awareness is all you can plan for. Bums in seats is what you hope for. I refuse to call any more attention to it except to note the colossal irony in the title of the owner's new book:

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: Googs

                                Create buzz; yes. Alienate people; no.


                                1. re: Davwud

                                  Is Boston Pizza considered 'good' pizza in Canada? How about their other food? I'm trying to figure out if I should be offended at the quality of their ribs. I wonder if each store has a smoker or if they ship the ribs to each location already smoked.

                                  1. re: John E.

                                    I would be very surprised if any smoke was involved at any point in producing these ribs.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      That was my point. The TV spot they are using implies otherwise.

                                  2. re: Davwud

                                    I respectfully disagree. This has become a common trend with ad campaigns. Offend first, get press for being offensive, apologize later, get press for apologizing, and all the while going viral. As proof of it's success, Google doesn't even try to correct your spelling when you enter "ribnecks".

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      I understand your point but this will cost them customers. I doubt it will make them any.


                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        My response to it was, "I'd never go their in the first place. Now I'm REALLY not going". I think I'd count as the part of the market they don't care about. I don't have kids.

                                2. Why would anyone name a restaurant Boston Pizza?

                                  The pizza here pretty much sucks.

                                  16 Replies
                                  1. re: C. Hamster

                                    The original location was a red sauce Italian place called Boston Pizza and Spaghetti House". The name got shortened at some point in the process.

                                    It's still not really a pizza place, per se. They certainly serve pizza (not very good pizza, imho), but it's only about a third of their menu (the rest of which is also not very good, imho). I occasionally eat there when I'm dieting because some (not many) of their pasta dishes come in at an acceptable calorie level and they have nutrition info on their website, but it's not a restaurant a hound would ever choose for reasons of deliciousness.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      Same level as Crapplebee's and TGIMcScratcy's??


                                      1. re: Davwud

                                        Probably, though I'm not sure I've ever eaten at either of those places so I can't really make that call. I think there was sort of a mini-TGIFridays in an airport that I ate breakfast at once, but that's about it.

                                        Before Boston Pizza went to their more sports bar concept and expanded East, they were not terrible. But then, I was a teenager back then, so maybe they were terrible and I just didn't notice. But there were two in the town near where I grew up, and I remember really liking their baked seafood lasagna. Of course, you pour enough mozzarella cheese on top of something and then crisp it up in an oven and it's bound to be at least edible. I have always had a soft spot for melty cheese.

                                        1. re: Davwud

                                          I saw the commercial, and I agree, it's a stupid commercial, and in poor taste, but I don't think the advertising geniuses behind the commercial were trying to ridicule Southerners or Americans.

                                          For those of you who were wondering about the name, Boston Pizza was founded in 1964 by a Greek immigrant who lived in Alberta. Unlike the East Coast, Western Canada does not have a large Italian population, and the Greek immigrants and their families have tended to run the pizza restaurants in Western Canada. I had always heard that the owner named it Boston Pizza because he liked the Boston Celtics, which made sense to me since most Boston Pizzas are a sports bar on one side, and a restaurant on the other. But apparently, the main reason Boston was chosen was that Boston was a recognizable name: http://www.bostons.com/about/heritage/
                                          The original owner sold Boston Pizza in 1978. I never tried Boston Pizza until 1999, so I have no idea if the Boston Pizza of 1978 was a better pizza.
                                          some other Boston Pizza info
                                          http://www.bostonpizza.com/en/about/o... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_P...

                                          Here are some more thoughts.

                                          Some Albertans and other Prairie people somewhat jokingly self-identify as rednecks, in the Jeff Foxworthy sense, and don't associate the term redneck with the South. They associate redneck with Alberta, and Stampede, and the Prairies. I don't think many people in Alberta think of "redneck" as a way to insult Southerners (althought some might think of it as a way to insult/tease rural Prairie and Rocky Mountain folk), and considering it is a pizza chain with Albertan origins, maybe it was just intended to be a Foxworthy type joke, that might appeal to some of their client base.

                                          In Regina and Calgary, I don't mind Boston Pizza's pizza or wings. I have been dozens of times, especially to one Regina location, although not recently. I kind of craved their pizza when I left Alberta 11 years ago, and it hit the spot late at night. I've only been to one Boston Pizza in Ontario, in St. Catherine's, and didn't stick to my wings and pizza rule, and didn't think it was as good as the food at the franchises out west.

                                          Even though I only would order pizza or wings at Boston Pizza, any food I have ordered at Boston Pizza has been better than what I've ordered at Applebee's, which I found on the verge of inedible on my last visit. I haven't been to TGIF since 1998, so I can't comment on that!

                                          1. re: prima

                                            "...the government rejected the first 2..."??????

                                            1. re: John E.

                                              My mistake. The govt rejection explanation was Myth #3.

                                              If you click on the link http://www.bostons.com/about/heritage ,read the last sentence.

                                              1. re: prima

                                                I wasn't challenging you. I was unaware of the myths surrounding the name. My question is, can the Canadian government reject a name for a new business?

                                                Last summer I was dragged to an Applebee's by a relative and the burger was decent.

                                                1. re: John E.

                                                  There are regulations governing the uniqueness and suitability of corporate names (no profanity or offensiveness, for example), so names can be rejected at the time of registration.

                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                    It's usually the provincial government, rather than the Federal Canadian government,that deals with business names. If the name is already being used by another business in the province, they're not going to allow a new business to use the same name.

                                                    Glad to hear the burger was ok at Applebee's. I'll keep that in mind, next time I end at an Applebee's. The last thing I ordered were some boneless Buffalo chicken wings.

                                                    1. re: prima

                                                      I understand the thing about duplicate names. I guess the 'rejected' name thing hit me as bit odd before I thoight it through. In Minnesota, business names are registered with the secretary of state's office (I think). I once worked for a business that wished to open an office in another state but we had to go to plan B because someone else was already using the name.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        I write as a former Canadian advertising guy, small business(es) owner, and BP customer.

                                                        As former ad guy in a large TDot agency: This ad is totally offensive and its imagery is purposely expressive of a white, southern U.S. segment. I'm surprised the CRTC allowed it. In my day all spots had to be submitted to that broadcast regulator and cleared for claims and decency. I have seen worse creative efforts (not overtly offensive however) make it to media because everyone at the table was quietly snickering and commenting, but the people above the salt ignored comments and warnings.

                                                        As a small business(es) owner in Ontario, Canada: After concept and financing the greatest hurdle one faces is registering a business name when incorporating. It's mind-numbing crazy. BP was lucky to get in after only two tries.

                                                        As a BP customer in a very small market: There is a BP handy to our grocery shopping and we eat there occasionally on shopping days. Their starters, pasta, and lunch specials at mid-day are well done for a chain and good value. Their mains and dinner prices, though, are absurdly over-priced for what you get. And for the pizza itself? No matter where you live, you will find a better one for less.

                                                        So, to those who say, "Any publicity is good publicity," I say that the spot is a bad effort by incompetents.

                                              2. re: prima

                                                prima, your experience(s) as outlined confirmed my assumptions I was unable to write without account.
                                                Both on the "redneck" and "Boston" names.

                                                1. re: Gastronomos

                                                  Off the top of my head, I can think of some other restaurants named after American cities or states, that were started by Greeks who immigrated to Canada: Detroit Eatery, Florida Restaurant, California Restaurant, Malibu Restaurant, Houston Pizza (my favourite pizza in Moose Jaw) and Texas Burger. All located in Canada, and all serving food that has/had nothing to do with name of their restaurant. :-)

                                                  1. re: prima

                                                    I guess 'Moose Jaw Pizza' was already taken. (I have a cousin in Moose Jaw.)

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      My mom was born in Moose Jaw, maybe we are related...cousin John? ;)

                                            2. re: Jacquilynne

                                              Well if the pizza isnt too good then it's aptly named!

                                          2. Rednecks are found all over the world..not just in the U.S of A.
                                            I found mildly amusing,but I'm not the most PC person around.

                                            1. I'm Southern. I am not a redneck. In fact, the most redneck person I've ever known was from New Jersey (close second is from Ithaca). Also, the characters in that commercial are more hillbilly than redneck. It's a fine distinction, and both are equally awful stereotypes, but still redneck =/=hillbilly.

                                              1. For those that aren't aware, Boston Pizza is also in the US, except it goes by Boston's Gourmet Pizza there. Link: http://www.bostons.com/home/

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: kalbir


                                                  Why not name your restaurant Cedar Rapids Seafood ?

                                                  With ;-) to my many friends in CR.

                                                2. I caught this commercial a few days ago and wasn't offended but noted a few things;

                                                  (1) If they were making fun of a few other specific segments of our population more people would have been up in arms but then again they purposely picked rednecks as they aren't an "ethnic" or "religious" group of our population. I'm going to go out on a limb and say there is no Redneck Lobby in Canada or the US.

                                                  (2) It wasn't funny.

                                                  (3) Boston Pizza sucks, I was once taken there for lunch and I just don't get how these places stay in business.

                                                  (4) I actually find their previous commercial more offensive than this one because they are giving the viewer "the finger".

                                                  (5) Who came up with the idea? Rednecks and Ribs? huh? Then again if the commercial was blacks and ribs it probably wouldn't go over too well, rightly so.

                                                  BTW the guy from CBC's Dragon's Den (Jim Treliving) is the head honcho and Boston Pizza and he's worth millions so I guess they are doing something right.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JerkPork

                                                    I am Northern, think rednecks are pretty funny in general, i am not always PC, not easily offended, I am easily amused, and love ribs...this commercial just isn't funny.

                                                  2. It's an appalling commercial in general. I would certainly take offense if I were from the south.

                                                    1. I watched this and it does not offend me but I'm also acutely aware that when I tell people I'm from Missouri, some of them will assume that we live like this.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Jambie

                                                        And I immediately thought of the coal towns of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia of my youth.

                                                      2. I think it was made to appeal to those who watch tv shows like Honey Booboo and who get a kick out of stereotypical depictions of rural southerners. I'll bet that had they used a similar Canadian one, the ads would have been pulled .