FYI 07.24.08

Bale Flap Aside, Burger King's 'Dark' U.K. Effort Goes on

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When Burger King decided to encourage British consumers to "feed" their "dark side," they could hardly have been aiming for "Dark Knight" star Christian Bale. But the handsome, Welsh-born actor was arrested in London early this week in order to be questioned on an assault charge, filed by his mother and sister. Mr. Bale, who has denied wrongdoing, was soon released and is back on the blockbuster press tour.

Entertainment and celebrity gossip outlets on both sides of the pond are obsessively ruminating on whether stress, depression or marital strife is weighing most heavily on the critically acclaimed performer, but the box office doesn't appear to have taken a hit. The Warner Bros. film, of course, scored a record-breaking, opening-weekend take of $155 million.

For its part, Burger King maintains that the U.K. campaign, from Crispin Porter & Bogusky, will go forward unchanged. In one spot, recalling the exceptionally dark movie, a young man doesn't give up his seat on the bus for an elderly woman. He remembers she was carrying bags, and then takes a bite of a big burger. A secretary confesses that she didn't tell her boss that his wife called, and eyes the sandwich on his desk covetously. The spot closes with a shot from the film of the bat signal being destroyed with an ax, and Batman standing amid smoky wreckage.

No word yet on what sort of dark antics the campaign, the movie or Mr. Bale himself may have inspired. -- Emily Bryson York

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