Burger King milkshake tweet banned for 'encouraging' anti-social behaviour
2 October 2019, 10:53
A Burger King tweet telling customers to "have fun" as they are "selling milkshakes all weekend" has been banned for encouraging anti-social behaviour.
Fast food giant Burger King is facing criticism after a tweet appeared to condone throwing milkshakes at political figures.
The tweet reads: "Dear people of Scotland. We're selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying".
The post came after a number of European election candidates had drinks thrown at them during their campaign trail.
Brexit Party candidate Nigel Farage had a milkshake thrown at him in Newcastle, and a McDonalds in Edinburgh was forced to stop selling dairy products on the day a Brexit Party rally in the city just days after.
Former English Defence League leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, known as Tommy Robinson, was drenched with milkshakes twice in two days as he campaigned in the north-west of England.
UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin was also both hit with food and drink during the build-up to the European elections.
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said it considered the tweet "irresponsible", and said it condones and encourages anti-social behaviour.
They said 24 people complained that it was irresponsible and offensive because they believed it encouraged violence and anti-social behaviour.
Burger King defended the tweet, calling it a "tongue-in-cheek reaction to recent events".
Burger King said it did not endorse violence and released a follow up tweet, stating: "We'd never endorse violence - or wasting our delicious milkshakes! So enjoy the weekend and please drink responsibly people."
The ASA said: "Although we acknowledged that the tweet may have been intended as a humorous response to the suspension of milkshake sales by the advertiser's competitor, in the context in which it appeared we considered it would be understood as suggesting that Burger King milkshakes could be used instead by people to 'milkshake' Nigel Farage."
"We considered the ad therefore condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible."
They added: "We told Burger King to ensure that its future marketing communications did not condone or encourage anti-social behaviour."
A Burger King spokesman said: "Our tweet regarding the situation in Edinburgh was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the situation. It appears some have misinterpreted this as an endorsement of violence, which we absolutely reject."
"At Burger King, we totally believe in individuals' right to freedom of expression and would never do anything that conflicts with this. We'd never endorse violence or wasting our delicious milkshakes."