The video, originally posted on Twitter last month, features a man standing outside various Indian restaurants with a megaphone shouting comments such as “authentic my arse”, and telling passers-by they do not serve “proper curry”.
The clip received more attention when it was reposted on GBK’s Twitter page this week.
It was promoting the brand’s Ruby Murray burger – named after cockney rhyming slang for ‘curry’ – which was described as ‘proper Indian’ and made with spiced lamb; samosa aloo; mango chutney; cucumber raita; and a poppadum in a bun.
The video attracted a stream of negative comments on social media, with users questioning how the ad was ever approved, branding it culturally insensitive and in “poor taste”.
GBK said in a statement: “To all those who have been offended by the Ruby Murray advertising campaign, we humbly apologise. The campaign to launch our latest burger was intended to be humorous.
“We know that a GBK burger could never truly pass off as an authentic Indian dish. Having read all of your comments and messages, we have made the decision to take down the content. Unreserved apologies again, GBK.”
It is not the first time GBK has had to apologise for an ad campaign. In 2016 it pulled a series of posters with slogans such as ‘Vegetarians, resistence is futile’ and pictures of a cow with the caption ‘They eat grass so you don’t have to’ after complaints from vegans and vegetarians, who got the hashtag #gourmetmurderkitchen trending.
Speculation has been growing about the future of GBK after its South African owner Famous Brands said in a recent update it had recorded a £2.6m operating loss in the six months to 31 August 2018.
In a cautionary announcement issued in August Famous Brands said it was considering "strategic options relating to a subsidiary", believed to be GBK.