Burger King apologized for a short-lived promo it has since pulled offering a lifetime of free Whoppers to women who are impregnated by World Cup stars.
This is not the first time the fast food chain has landed in hot water for an ad campaign: Last year it parodied an underage rape victim who became a national celebrity after speaking out at a popular Russian evening talk show. Russia virtually ensured its spot in the second round of the World Cup this week with a 3-1 win over Egypt.
Its latest ad, since deleted, promised 3 million rubles ($47,000) and a lifetime supply of signature burgers to "women who get pregnant from world football stars,” all in an effort to inherit “the best football genes.”
“We apologize for our statement. It turned out to be too insulting,” the chain posted on Russian social media site Vkontakte, noting that it had removed all references to the ad by late Tuesday.
One user, commenting on Burger King’s public apology, hypothesized that the ad was in reference to a Russian lawmaker’s pleas last week to avoid sex with foreign fans to keep from giving birth to “unhappy” mixed-race babies.
The deleted promo said that encouraging Russian women to bear the children of football players “will lay the foundation for the Russian team’s success several generations ahead.”