One fan took to Twitter, writing, "The very obvious ad for Burger King in the latest episode of Jersey Shore like was it really needed lmao."
Another hilariously tweeted, "Not sure if I like the newest member of the Jersey Shore crew, I think he goes by the name Burger King."
Another question is who is in charge of the footage because come on. "I'm watching the Jersey Shore rn and they really threw in an EDM laden montage of the Elmer Fudd lookin guy eating a Burger King Whopper and fries. They really just did that," one viewer shared on Twitter.
So, is 'Jersey Shore' sponsored by Burger King?
There's no public documentation about Jersey Shore having a Burger King sponsorship, but it's very likely that MTV has some kind of partnership with the fast-food chain. This is seemingly an example of product placement, when a form of media integrates a specific brand or product as authentically and editorially-driven as possible. Since Jersey Shore tries to weave BK into the script versus a traditional advertisement, MTV may not have to disclose the nature of its relationship with the chain.
Per Pfeiffer Law, "When it comes to TV and radio, the FCC has something called 'sponsorship identification rules,' (47 U.S.C. §§ 317, 508) which basically says that if a program producer, broadcast station, or a station employee receives anything of value, directly or indirectly, in exchange for causing material to be broadcast, the sponsorship and the identity of the sponsor must be disclosed on-air."
However, under the FTC Act, product placement "doesn’t require the disclosure that the advertiser paid for the placement in traditional media forms (i.e. TV, radio, films)." Other examples you may have seen before? All the times Tony Stark drives an Audi in Avengers movies. Possibly every time Allison munches on a Dunkin donut in the new AMC series Kevin Can Go F Himself. It's truly a grey area because the products make sense, and they're not advertisements technically.
The BK product placement on Jersey Shore hasn't exactly been subtle. In Season 4, Episode 17 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, Angelina is shown eating a Burger King meal.
In 2017, the Jersey Shore cast notably had a reunion, which was blatantly a Burger King commercial advertising their new chicken parm sandwich.
Two years ago, one Redditor wrote, "Literally a good four minutes of the show was a Burger King commercial tonight. Did anyone else notice too the commercial immediately following that segment was for Burger King? How many times did the cast use the trademarked word 'Whopper'? How many times did they show the bags with the logo? How many times did they talk about how Vinny broke his diet to eat Burger King?"
Seven months ago, another Reddit post joked, "MTV, stop trying to make Burger King happen, it's not going to happen," to which someone replied, "You've got it twisted. Burger King paid to be there, which is how the show is funded and the cast is paid. Burger King made Jersey Shore happen technically lol."
Watch new episodes of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on MTV. And if you end up ordering BK for dinner, we honestly don't blame you.