Burger King Marketing Stunt Ticks Off Belgian Monarchy

The ad pits King Philippe against Burger King's mascot
By Gina Carey,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2017 4:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – Fast food giant Burger King started off on the wrong foot with a fairly important Belgian family in the chain's latest global venture. Reuters reports that Belgium’s monarchy is not happy with an online marketing campaign depicting the country's King Philippe that Burger King launched to advertise the grand opening of its first Belgian store next month. The tongue-in-cheek ad pits the real-life Philippe against the fictional Burger King monarch, urging users to vote for who deserves the country’s crown on a screen reading, “Two Kings. One crown. Who will rule? Vote now.” According to Mashable, users who vote for Philippe are prompted to reconsider with the words, "Are you sure? He won't be the one to cook your fries."

After voting is completed, Burger King’s advertisement says to return on June 19 to learn who will be coronated, though it does not say what will happen should their mascot win. A palace spokesperson tells Reuters that the palace contacted Burger King to let the company know "we were not happy with them using an image of the king in their campaign,” and that it is not lawful to depict him for commercial reasons without approval. A brand spokesperson says Burger King is measuring how to respond: "We are deliberating on how to proceed. Should we make a change to our campaign we would communicate that." (Read more Burger King stories.)

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