Burger King trades blows with regulator over headbutt advert

Burger King trades blows with regulator over headbutt advert
The Swedish advertising ombudsman has upheld a number of complaints about a Burger King TV commercial showing one chef headbutting another in a cooking contest feud.

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.

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.

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