- Burger King’s “women belong in the kitchen” tweet recently sparked outrage.
- In recent years, many controversial campaigns have caused fury around the world.
- Insider has rounded up 5 other notable flops from well-known brands.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
A recent tweet from Burger King UK that read “women belong in the kitchen” on International Women’s Day left a bad taste in the mouth of social media users.
It was part of a campaign intended to promote the chain’s launch of an initiative to help increase the number of female head chefs in restaurants. But the initial tweet, which was part of a larger thread, was met with anger and confusion from thousands of social media users, with some describing it as tone-deaf.
As anger mounted, the chain said it was a “mistake” to not include the entirety of the initiative in its first tweet. It later apologised in a follow-up tweet, saying: “We hear you. We got our initial tweet wrong and we’re sorry.”
Read on for other examples of brand campaigns that went off the boil.
Pepsi’s “Live for Now” ad was arguably one of the most controversial ad campaigns of the decade. In it, supermodel Kendall Jenner took part in a protest and handed a police officer a can of Pepsi, as reported by Sky News. The ad was met with scathing criticism as it was perceived to be trivialising social justice movements, such as the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as capitalising on them.
Luxury department store Bloomingdales faced tremendous condemnation back in 2015, when they released an advertisement that appeared to be inspired by date rape in their holiday season catalogue, per The Wall Street Journal.
The ad featured a woman laughing with her head turned away while a sharply dressed man stared at her. The ad copy read: “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”
Consumers took to social media to criticise the inappropriateness and creepiness of the ad, which prompted the firm to issue a public apology via its Twitter account.
“We heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes,” the company tweeted.
Appliance manufacturer, KitchenAid set themselves up for a complete corporate Twitter fail, after tweeting a joke about former president Obama’s dead grandmother during the 2017 presidential debate, as Insider previously reported.
“Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president’. #nbcpolitics”.
The tweet was incredibly offensive, which prompted the company to immediately delete it and issue an apology for their actions.
In the summer of 2015, more than 700,000 people called on department store chain Macy’s to cut ties with Donald Trump, who was president at the time.
Macy’s began selling Trump’s menswear clothing including, $70 dress shirts, $65 ties, cufflinks, and watches in 2004, as reported by Fortune.
The decision to terminate its relationship with the businessman-turned-president came after he referred to immigrants from Mexico as “killers and rapists,” CNN reported.
Lingerie and clothing retailer Victoria’s Secret was heavily criticised for an ad that featured the slogan “The Perfect Body.”
The tagline, which referred to the brand’s Body’ lingerie line, featured images of Victoria’s Secret Angels on the company’s website and stores in the UK.
The ad sparked the Twitter hashtag #iamperfect as it played on women’s insecurities and sent out damaging messages about female body images, The Huffington Post reported.