American Fast food chain Burger King’s Russia arm has apologised for its sexist social media campaign on FIFA World Cup 2018.
Brands around the world are in the race to leverage the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and make a big impact on their global brand identity and sustainability in profits.
However, there are some brands that have crossed all the boundaries of modesty and senselessness. Burger King’s master franchisee in Russia, Burger Rus LLC, has drawn much flak and bitter criticism for their sheer audacity and brazenness in promoting a sexist ad for their brand in Russia.
Burger King Russia had launched an advertisement campaign that offered Russian women a chance to win $ 47,000 (₹ 31 lakh) and a free lifetime supply of Whoppers burgers if they got impregnated by a World Cup player visiting Russia for the month-long event.
The short-lived campaign was promoted in Russia on Tuesday via social media platform VK – Russia’s equivalent of Facebook – before being pulled down after a wave of angry responses from the disgruntled public.
Burger King Russia has a history of horrific publicity-baiting stunts which have sparked public-wide outrage. Last year it made fun of a teenage rape victim in an online marketing campaign. The fast-food company used the likeness of Diana Shurygina, who was raped when she was 16 at a house party, as part of a buy one get one free burger offer.
However, it’s not just Russia.
Burger King has a global track record of misogynistic stance in their marketing campaigns. In Singapore, the company advertised a seven-inch burger with overtly sexual imagery and a tagline saying “It’ll blow your mind away”. The model featured in the 2009 advertising campaign later came forward to say she had no idea her image was going to be used in that way.