Burger King broke advertising rules with irresponsible milkshake tweet

Oct 2, 2019 | Social Media Marketing | 0 comments

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Burger King promoted milkshakes in Scotland while Nigel Farage was in Edinburgh (Picture: SWNS)

Burger King has been told off for ‘irresponsibly’ promoting milkshakes while protesters were throwing the drinks over ring-wing politicians.

Earlier this year, McDonalds stopped selling milkshakes and ice-cream products in Edinburgh as Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was speaking at a rally in the city.

Burger King then tweeted in response to the closures: ‘Dear people of Scotland. We’re selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying.’

They then followed the post with another tweet which read: ‘We’d never endorse violence – or wasting our delicious milkshakes! So enjoy the weekend and please drink responsibly people.’

In the weeks previous, far-right campaigner Tommy Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, had twice been drenched by milkshakes in the north-west of England.

The tweet was found to be ‘irresponsible’ (Picture: Advertising Standards Authority)

A protester had also tried to throw a drink over Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin at a public meeting in Cornwall on May 10.

Burger King’s tweet received 24 complaints, which branded it ‘irresponsible’ and ‘offensive’, and accused it of encouraging anti-social behaviour.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares his keynote speech, that he is due to deliver to delegates at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, England, Tuesday Oct. 1, 2019. Johnson is scheduled to deliver his keynote speech to the party's annual conference on Wednesday. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP)Boris Johnson to reveal new Brexit plan dubbed ‘two borders for four years’

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found that the tweet had broken the rules regarding social responsibility, plus harm and offence.

A spokesperson said: ‘Although we acknowledged that the tweet may have been intended as a humorous response to the suspension of milkshake sales by the advertiser’s competitor, in the context in which it appeared we considered it would be understood as suggesting that Burger King milkshakes could be used instead by people to “milkshake” Nigel Farage.

‘We considered the ad therefore condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.’

Ukip’s Carl Benjamin was targeted in May this year (Picture: Cornwall Live / SWNS)

Burger King have now been told to ensure that their future marketing communications ‘do not condone or encourage anti-social behaviour’.

A spokesman for the burger chain said their tweet was intended to be ‘a tongue in cheek reaction to the situation’.

He said: ‘It appears some have misinterpreted this as an endorsement of violence which we absolutely reject.

‘At Burger King, we totally believe in individuals’ right to freedom of expression and would never do anything that conflicts with this.

‘We’d never endorse violence or wasting our delicious milkshakes.’



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