Burger King remove 'racist' chopsticks ad

Mae Love
April 11, 2019

A caption accompanying the video read "Take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City with our Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp".

Burger King has now deleted the clip which appeared on their Instagram account for New Zealand and has withdrawn the television advert. "We have removed it and it certainly does not reflect our brand values around diversity and inclusion".

Tweets containing the original ad have been posted almost three million times online.

The video ad, which went to air in New Zealand at the weekend, has had more than 2.2 millions views and thousands of comments from outraged social media users.

"It honestly took me a second to work out what the heck I was looking at", Mo, a classic pianist, told the outlet.

But even the burger missed the mark, Ms Mo said, because sweet chilli sauce is more common in Thai cuisine than Vietnamese.

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"So this is the new Burger King ad for a "Vietnamese" burger ok coolcoolcoolcoolcool CHOPSTICKS R HILARIOUS right omg etc", wrote Maria Mo on Twitter in an attempt to criticize the company's ad. "And I could not believe that such a concept was approved for such a big, well-known company". Last month, the ad was removed from TV after the Advertising Standards Authority ruled it "enticing people to overeat" because it finished by saying "Just need another three".

This is not the first time a popular brand has been slammed for being culturally insensitive when using chopsticks in marketing campaigns.

According to Mo, she was "fed up" with seeing Asians portrayed by popular brands in an insulting manner.

Whilst many agreed with her criticism of the ad, some told her she was overreacting. "Chopsticks!' and just ran with it without giving a single thought to what kind of messages could be inferred by their customer base", she added.

Some on social media have likened this to the racism row faced by fashion house Dolce & Gabbana after they posted videos of a Chinese model eating Italian food with chopsticks in 2018.

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