File under: absurd advertising snafus that never should’ve seen the light of day. At least that’s how many people are viewing Burger King’s recent Russian World Cup ad that had soccer fans scratching their heads and women’s rights activists in a fit of rage.
Burger King apologizes for an ad offering free burgers to Russian women who get pregnant by World Cup players https://t.co/S7SZLDLyUC— TIME (@TIME) June 21, 2018
At the start of the World Cup, BK launched a promotion on VK, a Russian social media website, encouraging women to get knocked up by players in exchange for three million roubles ($50,000) and a lifetime supply of Whoppers.
The ad specifically extends the offer to “Russian women able to get pregnant from any football celebrity,” in order to “transfer good genes to Russia.”
Unsurprisingly, many women’s rights activists were outraged. Exchanging intimate relations for goods (especially money) sounds a lot like prostitution, and encouraging women to do it casually and bear children without considering the consequences could be a recipe for disaster.
In an interview with radio station Govorit Moskva, Russian lawmaker Tamara Pletnyova raised concern about the rise of single mothers in Russia, saying that Russians should marry each other and “build a good family, live together, give birth to children, and educate them.” At one point in time, the Russian government was angered by a spike in births from foreign fathers following the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Many Russians argue that Burger King’s advertisement was against the movement toward Russian nationalism and cultural unity.
It is interesting to note, however, that the Burger King Russian division is actually run by a company called Burger Rus LLC, not Burger King Corporation, which is responsible for operations in North America.
Nonetheless, it was an unbelievably foolish promotion on their part, and it indicates that sexism is still a major issue on a global scale. Do you think it was just a silly joke, or a huge and offensive error by a national company?