Many social-media users argued that the ad used chopsticks as a comedy vehicle and was culturally insensitive.
4 min read
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
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.
Although Burger King has since removed the ad from its social media platforms, some Twitter users, including Maria Mo, captured 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
— 마리아. Maria. (@mariahmocarey) 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 realize, 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.
Dolce & Gabbana made an ad featuring a model eating spaghetti with a pair of chopsticks.
Image credit: Dolce & Gabbana/Instagram
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.
lol first it was Dolce & Gabbana and now i guess Burger King’s cancelled too smfh https://t.co/OiFsltgD06
— red streak (@abholamarie) April 7, 2019
— Kara Chin (@Kara_Chin) April 6, 2019
Representatives for Burger King did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.