A Burger King ad featuring diners trying to eat a Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp Burger with a pair of oversize chopsticks has been pulled after an online backlash.
The ad is part of a series promoting Burger King’s new ‘Tastes of the World’ range. The other ads feature customers eating a Japanese themed ‘tonkatsu’ burger with robotic hands and an American themed burger with boxing gloves. However, it was the Vietnamese ad which attracted the attention of Waikato University student Maria Mo, who took to Twitter to voice her displeasure.
“I couldn't believe such blatantly ignorant ads are still happening in 2019, it honestly took me a second to work out what the heck I was looking at,” she said. “I was watching it thinking there must be some kind of layered twist – only to realise, no, there was no twist, it was really that base level.”
Burger King has since apologised for the ad.
“We are truly sorry that the ad has appeared insensitive to our community,” said Burger King’s general manager marketing James Woodbridge. “We have removed it and it certainly does not reflect our brand values around diversity and inclusion.”
However, Mo wasn’t satisfied.
“Unless there is an official announcement from BK to acknowledge their racism and apologise for the offence it caused, as well as promise to undergo more rigorous diversity training to make sure nothing like this happens again, their pulling the ad is just a measure to cover their tracks and absolutely nothing has changed.”
The ad was removed from television in late March, on the grounds that it was encouraging overeating with the closing statement of “Just need another three!” However, it was still being promoted on social media, including Facebook and Instagram.