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Burger King Apologizes for Sexist Russian World Cup Ad

FILE - A young Russian couple waits in line on the opening day at Russia's first Burger King fast food restaurant in Moscow on January 21, 2010. (AFP PHOTO / ANDREY SMIRNOV)
Burger King Apologizes for Sexist Russian World Cup Ad
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The American fast-food company Burger King has apologized for offering free hamburgers to Russian women if they got pregnant by World Cup soccer players.

Burger King Russia started the advertising campaign on VK, a Russian social media network similar to Facebook.

Burger King quickly removed the post from its social media sites. 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 the USA Today newspaper 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.

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Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on AP and other news reports. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

hamburger - n. a sandwich of flat, round cake of finely chopped beef

ensure - v. to make something sure, certain or safe

promotion - n. something such as advertising that is done to make people aware of something and increase its sale or popularity

instinct - n. a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned