The World Cup provides golden opportunity for promotion that shouldn’t be missed. Indeed, fans can be seen tackling campaigns for limited edition products, competitions and giveaways in the name of the game, especially in the host nation. However, after offering rewards to women getting impregnated by World Cup players, Burger King Russia appears to have given ethical marketing the red card.
In a short-lived promotion launched on VK, the Russian social media site, the franchise gave customers the chance to win $47,000 should they conceive a World Cup footballer’s child. But it didn’t stop there and threw in a lifetime supply of Whopper burgers to sweeten the deal.
Translated from Russian, the original post read: “Burger King, within the framework of social responsibility, has appointed a reward for girls who get pregnant from the stars of world football. Each will receive three million rubles and a lifelong supply of Whoppers.
“For these girls, it will be possible to get the best football genes and will lay down the success of the Russian national team on several generations ahead. Forward! We believe in you!”
The sexist faux pas was taken down by Burger King Russia following furious responses, to which it replied: “We apologise for the statement we made. It turned out to be too insulting. We thank you for the feedback and hasten to inform you that we have already removed all materials related to the application.”
The move marks yet another addition to Burger King’s notoriously long list of marketing blunders. For example, in 2009 the company broadcasted a bikini-clad woman singing in the shower every morning to promote its breakfast menu popular among men. Needless to say, the idea went down like a lead balloon.
It’s said any publicity is good publicity. But when you’re known for trying to socially engineer future generations of football stars in the name of burgers, don’t be surprised if people look elsewhere for their beef fix.”