The global chain of restaurants, Burger King, has apologized for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers and cash to Russian women who get impregnated by players in the FIFA World Cup.
The multinational brand has now removed its offer from all its social media accounts. However, this was not before they received backlash from around the world. People called them demeaning and sexist, which caused them to publicly revoke the offer and also apologize for it.
Their original post offered “3 million rubles [equal to $47,000] and a lifetime supply of Whoppers” to women who get ‘the best football genes’ and ‘ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come’.
“We believe in you!” the promotion exclaimed.
Later on Wednesday, the fast-food chain said in a statement to The Associated Press, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online. (The offer) does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”
Vitaly Milonov, the Russian State Duma deputy, also slammed Burger King. He said, “(This is) a very-very stupid campaign by the hellish PR people of the fast-food chain.”
People on Twitter and other social media platforms were quick to criticize the ad campaign.
— Patriot (@USAPatriot16) June 21, 2018
Wow! I didn’t know Burger King had a dark side ?
— HalfPersianRobot (@persian_robot) June 21, 2018
Party time off Red Square in Moscow as Burger King says sorry for offering cash prize and lifetime burger supply to any woman getting pregnant by a World Cup footballer. pic.twitter.com/1zwKHXJOE9
— alex thomson (@alextomo) June 20, 2018
If you eat Burger King, I can’t trust you.
— Kristal Yalitza (@KristalYalitza) June 20, 2018
On the other hand, there were those who did not find the advertisement as offensive.
— ??????? Khalid Elghazali ?? (@KhalidElghazali) June 21, 2018
If sure this was a joke and even of it wasn’t you guys get soooo offended by everything. If the woman doesn’t realize this is a bad deal, then that’s her fault. I believe she has free will and also has the right to be ignorant. ?✌️
— Wesley Schuetz (@CadetSchuetz02) June 21, 2018
Burger King would probably go bankrupt if they advertised that in the UK.
— Steve (@SteveLOFC) June 20, 2018
What's to apologize about that?
— Cache Stud (@Kevster_Opt) June 20, 2018
I get the money you get the Burger King and the baby
— Josh Smith (@smitho1992) June 20, 2018
Lately, advertisements in Russia, especially those during the World Cup season, have been seen to be centered around sexist stereotypes that have caused women’s rights activists to speak out. Burger King itself was at the end of the backlash for their insensitive advertisements before this one.
One of their ads in Russia depicted the underage rape victim, Diana Shurygina, whose horrible story was spread all across the country. Burger King’s promotion picture showed an image of a girl with the same clothes and haircut that Diana Shurygina had when she appeared on national TV.
Amidst all the criticism, the Russian team is performing really well in the FIFA World Cup. They beat Saudi Arabia by a huge margin of 5 goals to 0, and then went on to defeat Mohamed Salah’s Egypt by 3-1, booking their place in the Round of 16.
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