Chipotle's deceptive advertising campaign

Feb 24, 2012
by WLJ

Chipotle´s advertisement during the recent Grammy awards has been a hot topic on social media sites such as Facebook. The animated film, originally released in August of 2011, shows a family farmer switching first to factory farming, then back to the sustainable approach of turning animals out to pasture.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Executive Director of Communications Daren Williams shared his thoughts of the commercial on the NCBA Beltway Beef blog. “Chipotle’s ‘Food with Integrity’ marketing campaign lacks the very element they claim their food has: Integrity. Their own website describes the program this way: ‘It means that whenever possible we use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. And it means that we source organic and local produce when practical.’ Whenever possible? When practical? What does that mean?” While Williams does not recommend boycotting Chipotle, he does encourage those who choose to eat there to register a complaint about their deceptive marking practices. You can also submit a comment on the “Talk To Us” section of their website (, and they promise a response from a “real, live, friendly, human in a reasonable amount of time.”

Williams concludes, “All food production models fit in today’s agriculture. We have NCBA members who employ all of these production models. However, making false claims about the safety, nutritional value and environmental benefits of various food production models is deceptive and cannot be tolerated. The beef community must continue to work together to maximize the resources we have in this country, grass pastures and abundant grain supplies, to raise more beef using fewer resources like land, water, feed and fuel. There is room for every production model in this community, as long as we work together to meet consumer expectations, rather than exploiting them.” — WLJ