• Sweden's news in English

Burger King trades blows with regulator over headbutt advert

Christine Demsteader · 22 Jan 2010, 14:32

Published: 22 Jan 2010 14:32 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Reklamombudsmannen (Ro), a self-regulatory agency which polices marketing and advertising communications in Sweden, looked into the 30-second advert after receiving three complaints.

"The Ro committee concludes that the violence appears unmotivated, excessive and therefore offensive and the film gives the impression that violence is acceptable," said a statement on the organisation’s website.

The commercial centres around a cooking competition in which chefs are proudly showing their plates of fancy-looking cuisine to a hard-faced judge.

On spying the burger the judge raises a smile and takes a large bite before noticing a Burger King paper bag on the floor.

Realising the chef's cheating ways, the judge throws a mouthful of abuse at the young contestant and promptly headbutts him.

The complaints largely criticise Burger King for promoting the use of violence, especially among young people.

"Even if the intention was to present the violence in a humorous fashion, it can been interpreted as acceptable for the average viewer," Ro added.

In a response to the ruling, Burger King said the advert refers to the kind of slapstick humour that has been around since the age of silent movies.

Story continues below…

The company said it regretted causing any offence.

"But at the same time it's clear that those who reported their interpretation of the film have reacted in an overly negative manner," writes Burger King.

Christine Demsteader (christine.demsteader@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:34 January 22, 2010 by Miguel526
Sweden sinks to it's lowest common denominator herein. Three complaints? What a bunch of weaklings who've got way too much time on their hands. It's time for real people in Sweden to step up and stand against this sort of censoring by school-marms.
17:04 January 22, 2010 by rybo1
Oooooo! So violent! No wonder we don't get to watch "The Three Stooges" here.
17:16 January 22, 2010 by Twiceshy
Keep in mind people that a womans breast in the usa on TV is porn and you will go to jail. But, kill someone with you hands and rip out their heart, that is just fine, right after the v-iagra commercial. So Sweden does not like violence? Good for them!
18:22 January 22, 2010 by delusion1982
*thumbs up*. And @Miguel526, if you are such of a fond of violence, there are many other places on earth where you will get a good deal of it. So here violence is untolerated for a change. No need to make the world a monotonous place licking the states burgers ass everywhere... and censoring what? its a god damn ad for god sake, it's wrong to use the word "censoring" in this context...
18:45 January 22, 2010 by Douglas Garner
Hey.... you just got me to watch the commercial! Way to go, BK!!!
18:52 January 22, 2010 by Dogs_Gonads
I bet you a pound to a penny that those who complained work for McDonald's.
19:47 January 22, 2010 by insect
I always thought that was a very funny advert and I dont understand what they mean by a mouthful of abuse. The chef only says "Shame on you!" unless it is a different ad from the one I've seen.
21:50 January 22, 2010 by Bostonexpat
My complaint will be in Mon.. I'm tired of seeing naked senior citizens in commercials here …seemingly, that will also be deemed offensive
21:55 January 22, 2010 by peropaco
I find tampons commercials particularly offensive ;-)
00:25 January 23, 2010 by Roy E
In other parts of the world, amongst peoples blessed with greater powers of discernment, this is known as humor.
03:21 January 23, 2010 by Davey-jo
Anybody here remember Fawlty Towers? John (cheesey) Cleese got awards for beating a waiter around the head just for being foreign. It was thought to be "funny" but was actually a pitiful attempt to resurrect the career of a failed "comedian". Plus ça change ....
08:17 January 23, 2010 by calebian22
Violence is not tolerated in commercials, but if you actually murder someone you get two years in jail or maybe just time in a hospital. Hmmmmm.
09:29 January 23, 2010 by Nuname
I hate this advert and agree it should be banned. There's no reason for a burger advert to show someone being headbutted.
09:40 January 23, 2010 by Daveo
And I'm sure the 3 complaints were by people who beat their children.
09:40 January 23, 2010 by Rick Methven
This is an advertisement aimed at selling something - a burger. The ad implies that it is OK to head-butt someone for cheating and even shows that the 'cheat' is knocked to the ground needing assistance for his injuries. That is GBH and could carry a 6 months prison term
14:00 January 24, 2010 by bezjaj
Even if its slapstick..or not..I ve seen to much of in american media..maybe time to change ?
20:08 January 24, 2010 by Greg in Canada
Burger King - something like 500 gms of artery clogging saturated fat in one burger.

I want to butt my head aginst a wall because people actually eat that garbage.
Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available