Burger King Is Facing a Boycott After This Major Blunder
Burger King has never been a brand to shy away from controversial marketing. Whether through surprising visuals or attention-grabbing statements, the fast-food chain has raised more than a few eyebrows over the years—and faced plenty of backlash.
Now, the burger giant is in hot water again after running a Holy Week-themed ad campaign in Spain. According to Fox News, print advertisements promoted Burger King's new vegetarian burger using the words of Jesus from the Last Supper. One ad reads, "Take all of you and eat it. Which doesn't have meat. 100% vegetarian. 100% flavor. Big King Vegetable," while another says, "Flesh of my flesh," with the word "flesh" crossed out and replaced with the word "vegetable."
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The campaign provoked outrage among the country's Catholic community, with some taking to social media and using the hashtag "boicottBurgerKing" in protest of the sacrilegious nature of the ad. Others have signed a petition to fire Jorge Carvalho, the general manager of Burger King in Spain and Portugal.
Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Orihuela-Alicante tweeted a photo of one of the advertisements and wrote, "Apparently, the loss of culinary taste and the lack of respect for religious sentiments go hand in hand… #SabadoSanto.
Another Twitter user also posted a photo of an ad, writing, "What would happen if it attempted @burgerking_es against the religious feeling of another confession? Answer suggestions welcome. This photo is from yesterday Holy Thursday, in Seville. Saint Paul street."
Burger King has since issued an apology on Twitter and removed the print advertisements. The chain's tweet reads:
"We apologize to all those who have been offended by our campaign aimed at promoting our vegetable products at Easter. Our intention has never been to offend anyone and the immediate withdrawal of the campaign has already been requested."
This isn't the first time Burger King has had to walk back an advertising message. In March of 2021, Burger King was widely criticized for sexism after highlighting its scholarship program for female chefs, with Burger King U.K. tweeting "Women belong in the kitchen." The tweet, which was posted on International Women's Day, sparked an uproar on social media, leading to the chain later removing the tweet and issuing an apology.