American fast-food company Burger King has apologized for offering free hamburgers to Russian women if they got pregnant by World Cup soccer players, USA Today reports.
Burger King Russia started the advertising campaign on VK, a Russian social media network similar to Facebook, offering a payment of $47,000 plus a lifetime supply of Whoppers.
The company quickly removed the post from its online platforms but social media users around the world shared images of the announcement. The ad promised free burgers for women who were able to get “the best football genes” and “ensure the success of the Russian team for generations to come.”
Burger King’s American headquarters said in a statement Wednesday to the Associated Press, “We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online.” It said the offer did not represent the company’s values. It added, “We are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”
Advertising in Russia sometimes includes sexist ideas. A female student from Moscow told USA Today that Russian women are used to sexist advertising in their country.
She said, “Companies know they can appeal to the basic instincts of Russian men in this way. My male friends thought it was funny. We get used to this.”
Last year, Burger King Russia also published and then removed an ad making fun of a rape victim on social media.