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Sleepy Reagan Ads Pulled After Callers Besiege Burger Chain

August 13, 1988

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) _ Eating breakfast may be good for one’s health, but using a photo of a snoozing President Reagan to make the point is risky business, a fast food chain learned.

Full-page ads featuring the photo were pulled from five newspapers this week after the Burgerville chain received dozens of calls from people who thought they made fun of Reagan, said Pat Klinger, vice president of Burgerville USA’s parent company, Holland Inc.

The ads depicted the president with his eyes closed and wearing headphones. The picture, obtained from NBC-TV, was taken when Reagan was attending a meeting at Bonn, West Germany.

″You can usually tell when someone skips breakfast,″ said the ads, which extolled the nutritional benefits of a breakfast like those available at Burgerville.

Twenty-five calls was all it took, said Klinger, who yanked the ad after a one-day run in the Columbian in Vancouver, the Oregonian in Portland, the Salem, Ore., Statesman-Journal and the Dalles, Ore., Chronicle.

Klinger managed to stop the ad before it ran in the weekly Monmouth, Ore., Sun-Enterprise.

Burgerville, with 31 outlets in Oregon and Washington, often uses eye- catching advertisements to compete with national restaurant chains, but Klinger said there were limits to the attention he hoped to draw.

″We’re not in the business of offending or upsetting people,″ he said. ″The ad became something we didn’t intend. It became a political ad and we pulled it.″

Ron Rasmussen was one of those newspaper readers who got upset.

″I was so mad, I could’ve spit bullets,″ said the former Clark County Republican chairman. ″It was extremely discourteous to our president to put that ad in. I’m 58, and I could fall asleep in a meeting.″

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