In what could be one of the most epic marketing fails ever, Burger King in Russia has been forced to apologise after rolling out what some might consider a pretty tasteless ad campaign.
Trying to capitalise on the popularity of the Football World Cup which is currently being held in the country, the fast food giant was offering women 3 million Russian rubles (NZD $68,000) and a lifetime supply of Whoppers if they get impregnated by one of the soccer players competing in the tournament.
"Burger King, within the framework of social responsibility, has appointed a reward for girls who get pregnant from the stars of world football," the campaign read. "Each will receive 3 million rubles, and a lifelong supply of Whoppers. For these girls, it will be possible to get the best football genes, and will lay down the success of the Russian national team on several generations ahead. Forward! We believe in you!"
Naturally, people were pretty outraged and the company was forced to pull the campaign almost immediately. On June 19 they released an apology via social media and removed all material relating to the campaign. But the damage had already been done.
Unfortunately it's not the first time the Russian division of Burger King has rolled out a morally questionable campaign. Last year they depicted the image of a 17-year-old rape victim as part of a buy one get one free promotion.
But Burger King isn't the only company to come under fire for an ill thought out marketing campaign during this World Cup. Earlier this month Mastercard were forced to backtrack after they vowed to donate 10,000 meals to starving children every time football stars Lionel Messi or Neymar Jr scored a goal.
With disaster set to hit as the city runs out of beer (yes, apparently the influx of soccer fans are drinking Moscow dry) this could yet turn out to be the most controversial World Cup since, well, the last one. Because let's face it - somehow football and controversy seem to go hand in hand.
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