Hindu American Foundation Welcomes Burger King's Swift Removal of Offensive Ad 

Washington D.C. (July 9, 2008) - Burger King Corporation, the international fast food chain, ceding to demands made by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and its supporters, swiftly removed a Spanish advertisement campaign offensive to Hindus late yesterday.  The print advertisement which according to  Burger King official was running in only a few restaurants in Spain as an -store advertisement to support a limited-time only promotion, used an image of the Hindu Goddess, Lakshmi, seated atop a meat sandwich, other foodstuffs and the tag line, "A snack that's sacred," in Spanish.  
 
"Burger King Corporation values and respects all of its guests as well as the communities we serve...[the advertisement] was not intended to offend anyone." stated Denise Wilson, a Senior Communications Analyst at Burger King in a written statement made available to various press outlets.  "Out of respect for the Hindu community, the in-store advertisement has been removed from the restaurants."
 
This latest marketing blunder is the third this year for Burger King.  Earlier this month, an overtly sexual ad to sell its "BK Super Seven Incher" in Singapore  garnered criticism from several advertising analysts and women's groups.  And last year, Burger King withdrew an advertisement in Spain and Britain featuring a wrestler wrapped in a Mexican flag, after the Mexican ambassador to Madrid deemed it as offensive to Mexicans.  
 

"Our demand letter to Burger King did allude to the company's positive track record of quickly removing and apologizing for previous offensive ad campaigns," stated Suhag Shukla, Managing Director and Legal Counsel for the Foundation.  "Of course we would hope that such misjudgment did not occur in the first place, but we are indeed pleased to hear of Burger King's move.  As an American company conducting business abroad, in so many ways Burger King and other companies serve as ambassadors of the U.S. so it behooves all of us as Americans, including those in Corporate America, to be respectful of other religions and cultures."

 

At the time of this writing, HAF had been informed of the advertisement removal and apology by numerous press outlets, but was still awaiting a direct, formal letter from Burger King Corporation. 
 
The formal letter was sent to HAF on July 10 and can be downloaded by clicking here.