- Burger King is under scrutiny for using giant chopsticks to advertise its “Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp burger” in New Zealand.
- Many social-media users argued that the ad used chopsticks as a comedy vehicle and was culturally insensitive.
- Some have compared the fast-food brand’s since-removed commercial to the controversial Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign that showed a model eating Italian food with chopsticks.
- UPDATE: April 9, 2019: This story has been updated to reflect a statement from a Burger King representative which called the ad “insensitive” and said it “does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.
Burger King has come under fire for a recent advertisement that it briefly ran in New Zealand.
The brand rolled out a commercial for its new “Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp burger” depicting Burger King customers attempting to eat the new menu item with giant red chopsticks.
“Take your tastebuds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City with our Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp, part of our Tastes of the World range. Available for a limited time only,” the initial caption for the ad read on the brand’s now-deleted Instagram post.
In a statement Burger King provided to INSIDER, a representative for the fast-food company said that it had called for the ad’s removal in New Zealand.
“The ad in question is insensitive and does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion,” the Burger King representative said. “We have asked our franchisee in New Zealand to remove the ad immediately.”
Burger King has since removed the ad from its social-media pages, but some Twitter users, including Maria Mo, managed to capture a video of the controversial commercial.
Mo, or @mariahmocarey on Twitter, posted a clip after she came across the ad on her Instagram feed.
So this is the new Burger King ad for a “Vietnamese” burger ok coolcoolcoolcoolcool CHOPSTICKS R HILARIOUS right omg etc ???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/zVD8CN04Wc
— a little mo (@moxieandtv) April 4, 2019
“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,” Mo told HuffPost. “I was watching it thinking there must be some kind of layered twist ― only to realise, no, there was no twist, it really was that base level.”
Many users on social media expressed their discontent with the ad, which they claimed used chopsticks as a comedy vehicle and was culturally insensitive.
LOL chopsticks amirite??????
Who the hell came up with this? There are a lot of Asian people in NZ, though they probably aren’t getting their Vietnamese food from Burger King ???? https://t.co/XSGYX7IVBR
— Catherine Shu ???? (@CatherineShu) April 5, 2019
We’re not asking for much. Sometimes just decide to DO LESS.
— Jenny Yang (@jennyyangtv) April 5, 2019
Looked up this burger on Burger King's site and there's nothing in it that will "take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City."
Adding sweet chili to a chicken sandwich DOES NOT make it "Vietnamese"
Using chopsticks as a gag does not make your ad more "authentic"
— Eric Vo (@eric__vo) April 5, 2019
According to The New Zealand Herald, the same Burger King advertisement was barred from distribution on television in March after New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authority claimed that it was “enticing people to overeat” because it concluded with the words, “Just need another three.”
Some compared Burger King’s ad to the Dolce & Gabbana commercial that showed a model eating Italian food with chopsticks
In November 2018, the fashion house launched an ad campaign featuring a Chinese model eating traditional Italian food with chopsticks. Like Burger King, the brand removed its own controversial ad after it sparked backlash on social media.
Later, Dolce & Gabbana co-founder Stefano Gabbana allegedly responded to a critic of the ad with racist language via Instagram direct message, and brand leadership subsequently announced that a show in Shanghai was “rescheduled due to reasons” that were unspecified.
— Kara Chin (@Kara_Chin) April 6, 2019
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