Grill’d boss: Mumbrella took us out of context. When we said we were banning blogging, tweeting and Facebook, and putting up posters saying we were banning blogging, tweeting and Facebook, we never meant that we were banning blogging, tweeting and Facebook

grilld bloggersThe CEO of burger chain Grill’d has attempted to dampen a growing social media backlash to the brand’s new campaign poking fun at the likes of Twitter, Facebook and bloggers. Simon Crowe took to the brand’s Facebook page claiming that Mumbrella “showed one of our posters without context”.

Mumbrella posted the story after being sent a press release by the company’s PR agency One Green Bean, along with the only image supplied by the agency.

After Mumbrella reported the campaign, which also includes staff wearing ‘F#ck Celebrity Chefs’, some commenters on Twitter began to point out that the move was a risky one for a brand which has a Facebook page and Twitter profile as part of its marketing strategy.

During the afternoon, Grill’d briefly began to trend on Twitter.

More than three hours after the story was posted, with the backlash well and truly under way One Green Bean sent Mumbrella a further four images for the campaign which emphasise the anti-celebrity chef angle rather than than the tongue-in-cheek social media ban.

grilld hipstersgrilld zero chefsgrilld hottergrilld boring

Meanwhile, Crowe posted on the Grilll’d Facebook page:

“There has been some talk about our loathing of social media.

“An advertising website showed one of our posters without context and it has created a bit of a stir. No problem. We are happy to have people talk and debate any issue and we know that it is our guests & fans that ‘own’ our brand. Simply put, they didn’t get our sense of homour!”

Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes adds: We stand by the accuracy of our story in its entirety, and used the image entirely within context. We understood your “sense of homour” and referred to it as the stunt it was. You appear to be confusing the comment thread that followed the story, and indeed the discussion that followed on Twitter, with what we have written.

While I’m at it, if your campaign is targeting celebrity chefs, why the hell are you banning cravats? Matt Preston might be on Masterchef, but that doesn’t make him a celebrity chef. He’s a food writer.

The original press release:


From Tuesday March 27, Grill’d is waging a war on celebrity chefs with the introduction of three new burgers that the team is proud to have created themselves; the Hot Hombre, Goats Cheese & Hummus and Perfect Pear.

Whilst more and more restaurants and brands have to rely on celebrity chefs to get a ‘cravat’ of approval, these delicious cooked-to-order burgers are made with love, sans endorsement.

From today, stores nationally will be decked out with table talkers, posters in store windows, staff wearing ‘F#ck Celebrity Chef’ badges and a range of point of sale materials that all clearly displays that Grill’d has declared war on celebrity chefs. Other posters call on foodies to respect customers with bold rules such as:

· No bloggers

· No tweeting

· No instagramming

· No Facebook

· And absolutely NO cravats

“We’re committed to feeding the nation the Grill’d way so are shifting the focus back towards what’s important; the great taste of our burgers,” says founder and managing director of Grill’d Simon Crowe.

“From Tuesday, we’re calling on hungry guests to leave their cravats at the door and enjoy our new burgers. We understand that celebrity chefs can flambé, julienne and souse-vide, but sowhat? The new range is made by our team from only the freshest ingredients. Put bluntly; they’re loved by the foodies, but made for you, and we guarantee you won’t leave hungry!” adds Crowe.

So if you’re in need of a fast fresh feed, get into Grill’d to try one of the new cooked-to-order burgers.

Mumbrella’s original report:

Burger chain Grill’d has declared war on social media and celebrity chefs in a stunt aimed at promoting its unpretentious menu offerings.

Signage is going up in the fast food chain’s stores urging hipster customers to not blog about or photograph their food, but instead just eat their burger. Instagram is an iPhone app beloved of hipsters looking to add effects to their pictures.

In a swipe at Masterchef judge Matt Preston, a further new rule from Grill’d is no cravats.

The campaign will see the chain wage war on celebrity chefs as it promotes three new burgers.

The signage includes table talkers, posters in store windows, staff wearing ‘F#ck Celebrity Chefs’ badges and point of sale materials.


  1. Tdawg
    28 Mar 12
    8:58 pm

  2. Ummm Mumbrella you have totally played into their hands it’s all a piss take can’t you see that!!?

    But thanks for sourcing and posting the rest of the posters for us :) They are the ones I saw and commented on previously.

    Very very funny, great campaign, great reactions and I’m sure the agency and Grill’d are having a good old giggle!

  3. Reginald Foley
    28 Mar 12
    9:04 pm

  4. Guys, the campaign is sharing a joke – not a dick. Don’t take it so hard.

  5. The Worst of Perth
    28 Mar 12
    9:18 pm

  6. They haven’t addressed why the campaign is so laaaaame. That’s the context. A lame poster in the context of other lame posters.

  7. No cheese
    28 Mar 12
    9:27 pm

  8. Dear Grill’d Boss, maybe you have learned a valuable lesson – maybe not!
    Either way please let Mumbrella readers know what effect your campaign has had on sales.

  9. willemrt
    28 Mar 12
    9:48 pm

  10. Ohhh the irony of social media hipsters getting all up in arms after being grilled by Grilld.

    Nice one! I love the campaign, and the fact they give almost everyone who put’s their business card in the cup a bunch of free burgers. Fairly savvy marketing all around in my opinion.

    And to the Twitterati, stop taking yourself so goddamn seriously. Excellent comment bait headline BTW Tim :)

  11. Chase
    28 Mar 12
    9:56 pm

  12. This is hilarious – love the campaign!

    A quick search on Twitter shows most people are getting it and having a laugh – Tim think you may have missed the broad reaction, but then again you are as willmrt says baiting people here too :)

  13. No cheese
    28 Mar 12
    10:09 pm

  14. Totally agree willemrt,that’s my point – I love the campaign, but the reality is has it sold more burgers? If Twits don’t like it, who cares! As long as you sell more burgers !

  15. Thang
    29 Mar 12
    12:38 am

  16. Interested, since finding out about the story from Mumbrella, I’ve followed it up with Grill’d’s PR agency and started reporting on this story.

    The media release as supplied to me around 1.50pm had the anti social media references removed.

  17. patrick
    29 Mar 12
    2:29 am

  18. Bit naughty to try and pin the social media backlash on ‘an advertising website’. The original post by mumbrella was pretty fair and matter of fact. This could have been a great campaign if the producers themselves had seen (and admitted) the humour of it!

  19. Adam Vincenzini
    29 Mar 12
    3:03 am

  20. How does that Oscar Wilde quote go again?
    “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
    Whether the marketing community likes this campaign or not is irrelevant, it has got people talking.
    If you can get people talking about your brand, you increase the chances of product consideration and trial.
    That’s why marketing departments exist.
    That’s why marketing exists.
    Well done to Grill’d for getting people talking – it is no mean feat and it’ll be interesting to see what impact it has on footfall / sales this week.

  21. thomas
    29 Mar 12
    8:28 am

  22. It’s always good to be against something. But an anti-influencer strategy…. They should have the courage of their convictions

  23. JimP
    29 Mar 12
    8:45 am

  24. I don’t like this at all. Yesterday I hit my local Grill’d for lunch and had to wait 10 minutes longer than usual because of the heavy traffic. No sweat though; the vibe was way up…the punters were mouthing the ads! People love a joke and a Joker!

  25. Benzola
    29 Mar 12
    9:06 am

  26. Has anyone tried the lamb with goats cheese and hummus? My god, it’s delicious. All this debate on Mumbrella made me hungry yesterday

  27. Charlie
    29 Mar 12
    9:08 am

  28. I luv Grilled, thanks for the reminder that of that – will be off to eat their tonight. Hope the ques arent too long with all with promotion going on

  29. Champ
    29 Mar 12
    9:08 am

  30. This is all so ridiculous. I can’t believe there are so many people who can’t spot a joke. I’ve never heard of or been to Grill’d myself, but the message was pretty clear. God forbid we offend the hipsters.

  31. Logic
    29 Mar 12
    9:14 am

  32. who care the burgers are tasty and they make me feel upper middle class once I hand over a $50 for me and the wife.

  33. Jo-King
    29 Mar 12
    9:24 am

  34. It’s a JOKE people! If you don’t get that it’s a joke- you probably fit their ‘foodies’ profile quite well. Top of the class Grill’d!

  35. les wood
    29 Mar 12
    9:52 am

  36. The orgiastic pseudo-intellectual feeding frenzy that so often erupts on social media sickens me.
    Don’t people have anything better to worry about?

  37. Tim2
    29 Mar 12
    10:53 am

  38. Why do I feel as if Grill’d suddenly has a new Astroturfing burger?

  39. derp
    29 Mar 12
    11:45 am

  40. yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.

  41. jean cave
    29 Mar 12
    11:47 am

  42. Maybe the hipsters will be wearing ‘ironic’ cravats this year too.

  43. bandit
    29 Mar 12
    1:41 pm

  44. Don’t care if it’s a joke, don’t care if it’s not. The burgers are great, the campaign aint.
    How about spending less money on this stuff, and more on opening new stores. How about some good old fashioned exposure via storefrontage?
    I’d like one near me please.

  45. Tom
    29 Mar 12
    3:20 pm

  46. For some reason I really feel like a hamburger now.

  47. crizza
    29 Mar 12
    3:21 pm

  48. never heard of grill’d before this, so it must have worked at least a little bit

  49. Tiffany
    29 Mar 12
    3:28 pm

  50. Congrats to Grill’d, mumbrella have made them a star overnight!

  51. @Freocookster
    29 Mar 12
    3:34 pm

  52. I think the labelling of Matt Preston as a celebrity chef is a genuine mistake in a campaign that is otherwise hitting its targets. Fairly largish mistake though…

  53. Niq
    29 Mar 12
    3:37 pm

  54. Yummy burgers, crappy marketing… Yes – it got my attention but because I thought it was stupid, not funny or witty.

  55. Kirsten
    29 Mar 12
    3:47 pm

  56. Grill’d – don’t blame the failure of your weird campaign on a lack of understanding your “sense of humour”. We get it, we just don’t like it.

  57. Anonymous
    29 Mar 12
    3:53 pm

  58. I’m now craving Grilled.

  59. Daniel
    29 Mar 12
    3:57 pm

  60. It’s hilarious that some people are not getting the joke, although most seem to be. In my experience people that are obsessed with social media take it far too seriously, it’s no wonder they got defensive. Off to Grill’d!

  61. The Fence
    29 Mar 12
    4:22 pm

  62. Why do people ‘defend’ social media. It’s not a cause it’s an easier email. I know it’s all been resolved now. But just say Grilled really didn’t like social media. there burgers would still be yum. There chips would still be herby. And their stores would still be rad.

  63. GC
    29 Mar 12
    4:36 pm

  64. Astroturf on Mumbrella just makes absolutely zero sense…

  65. Matt
    29 Mar 12
    5:01 pm

  66. great, now I feel like Grill’d for dinner

  67. Logic
    29 Mar 12
    5:07 pm

  68. “Congrats to Grill’d, mumbrella have made them a star overnight!”

    Easy now.

  69. Jeepers
    29 Mar 12
    6:40 pm

  70. I like this grilled social media campaign

  71. paul
    31 Mar 12
    1:54 pm

  72. Oh and by the way:
    Bondi Beach locals are not interested in having your outlet down here…
    expensive burgers R NOT us

  73. Anon
    1 Apr 12
    10:13 am

  74. This Simon Crowe character sounds like an arrogant $%&!!