DENVER, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The socially conscious U.S. Chipotle Mexican Grill chain began dishing up online comedy Monday, announcing its four-episode series, "Farmed and Dangerous."
"Farmed and Dangerous" stars Ray Wise of "Twin Peaks" fame as Buck Marshall, who works for the firm IFIB representing "major food production companies," Chipotle said on its website.
Chipotle said the four-episode event on Hulu to raise awareness about genetically modified farming.
"The answer comes down to the fact that at Chipotle, we're dedicated to raising awareness about alternatives to factory farming," the company said on its website. "'Farmed and Dangerous' addresses issues we feel strongly about, and we hope viewers come away with a smile as well as questions about where our food comes from."
While Chipotle is barely mentioned specifically, critics say the Hulu endeavor, with it's trivia tie-in, video games and a link to Chipotle's foundation is really a highly integrated, calculated sales message, the Denver Post reported.
"In the boardrooms of Madison Avenue, they call it 'values branding': a marketing strategy in which a company tries to instill a feeling of righteousness in the customers who buy its products,"
Ted Sheely posted on the Truth About Trade & Technology site. "But what kind of values would inspire a corporation to wage a smear campaign against America's farmers?"
Sheely, a farmer and board member with several California farming organizations, disagrees with Chipotle's stance that genetically modified crops are inherently dangerous.