Burger King’s absurd National Women’s Day tweet crossed the line


Samson Li | The Ticker

Barbara Chang

Sexism in society, business and media has shown improvement — or so one would assume.

Burger King made huge mistakes with the vocabulary of a recent ad and it needs to be careful in future promotions, otherwise the brand will not survive for long.

Recently, Burger King U.K. tweeted on National Women’s Day, “Women belong in the kitchen.” Burger King quickly followed up with another tweet that said, “If they want to of course,” which didn’t make the situation any better.

Burger King’s goal was to promote its program that gives scholarships sponsored by fast food restaurants. Although this campaign seems to be out of good intentions, the message it conveyed and the timing of the advertisement were totally offensive and insulting toward women.

According to an article in The Washington Post, this is not the first time Burger King put out a sexist advertisement.

Susan Dobscha, a professor of marketing at Bentley University, said that Burger King put out a post on social media giving out unlimited whoppers to Russian women who were impregnated by soccer players in the World Cup and the purpose of that, they claimed, was to make sure the success of the Russian team goes on for many generations.

The ad tried to gain supporters for the offspring of World Cup players and show that Burger King cares about the children who represent the future. Unfortunately, it was degrading to women, hinting that pregnant women can’t support themselves and need help surviving.

Burger King’s “Women Belong in the Kitchen” campaign said toward the end, “It is a commitment from one of the biggest restaurants in the world to help their aspiring female chefs. Because every woman with a passion deserves the chance to advance, whether it’s in culinary school, a Burger King kitchen or any or any other kitchen in the world.”

What many may have felt from reading that ad was pure astonishment.

The ad insinuates that all the dreams and enthusiasm women have don’t go beyond a kitchen, as if society is reliving the 1950s.

It’s almost as if Burger King believes that the highest career women can have is to become the head chef of a kitchen, as if women can’t get a position outside of the hospitality industry.

The ad’s mention of a culinary scholarship as opposed to a regular scholarship is simply insulting, as it demonstrates that Burger King views a woman’s main purpose in life to become a good cook and to serve their spouse.

Apparently, according to Burger King, the only thing women are good for is to make food.

The head slogan of the Burger King ad wasn’t the only part the company screwed up on. After reading the whole thing, one might realize that it wasn’t just a bad choice of words. The disrespect for women is very well depicted in Burger King’s campaign.

This campaign could’ve been saved if the ad shifted its focus from putting more women in the kitchen to helping all starving and less fortunate college students get the education they need to get degrees and improve their lives.

If Burger King had that in mind, the message of the advertisement would be very different from what it is right now. And what better day to showcase this updated version other than next year’s National Women’s Day