The UK’s advertising watchdog has banned Burger King’s UK adverts for its Rebel Whopper burger. The watchdog concluded that the adverts for the Rebel Whopper were misleading. The adverts can not appear again in their current form.
The Rebel Whopper ads were deemed to violate advertising standards because the ads claim the Whoppers are vegan friendly. But the Whoppers are cooked alongside meat and contains egg. It is the mayonnaise that contains the egg, The Whopper can be ordered without the mayo. The burger itself is cooked alongside beef, which means cross-contamination is almost inevitable.
Advertising Standards Authority
The Advertising Standards Authority said the chain’s claim that the burger is “100% Whopper, no beef” could be understood to mean it did not contain animal products.
In a statement Burger King said, We communicated from the outset that the Rebel Whopper is aimed at a flexitarian audience.”
The Advertising Standards Authority also concluded that Burger King’s social media posts about the Rebel Whopper gave the impression it could be eaten by vegans and vegetarians.
The Advertising Standards watchdog also said, “The green colour palette and the timing of the ad and product release to coincide with ‘Veganuary’ contributed further to the impression that the product was suitable for vegans and vegetarians.”
Some of the ads included small print saying that the burgers are cooked alongside meat products. But Advertising Standards said, “We considered it was not sufficiently prominent to override the overall impression that the burger was suitable for vegetarians and vegans.”
Good News For Vegans
The conclusion by the Advertising Standards Authority is good news for vegans and vegetarians. It shows that fast food chains are being held to account on what they can claim is vegan.
Burger King will no doubt be disappointed by the decision. The chain have been making big strides into the vegan market with products like the Impossible Whopper. Perhaps this decision will encourage them to have a separate grill for their vegan and vegetarian products. That way cross contamination could not occur. They could also use a vegan mayonnaise. There are plenty on the market to choose from.
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