The Russian division of fast food chain Burger King has pulled, and apologized for, an online advertising campaign that promised women who were impregnated by World Cup team players $47,000 and “free Whoppers for life.”
The online promotion — launched Tuesday on Russia’s popular Facebook-style social media platform VK — was taken down within hours after meeting a storm of negative comments.
Screenshots taken and posted by VK users show an image of a pregnant woman wearing a tight blue dress below the promo stating that “girls who get pregnant by world soccer stars” would each be entitled to three million rubles [$47,000] and free Whoppers for life.
The advertisement added that by gaining the genes of the world’s best soccer players, women would increase the potential success of “several generations to come” in Russia.
It concludes, in a Soviet-style admonition: “Forward! We believe in you!”
Burger King later posted a Russian-language apology on VK, stating: “We offer apologies for the announcement we made. It was too offensive.”
The fast food outlet has a history of running controversial social media ads in Russia. Last year, the company used the image of a Russian rape victim to promote its meals.