Business Insider Edition

A Burger King tweet was banned in the UK after regulators ruled that it encouraged people to throw milkshakes at politicians

Bill Bostock , Business Insider US
 Oct 03, 2019, 03:55 PM
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Brexit Part
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has what is thought to have been a milkshake thrown over him as he visits Northumberland Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne during a whistle stop UK tour in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
  • A Burger King tweet encouraging people to throw milkshakes over politicians has been banned in the UK for being 'irresponsible.'
  • Burger King UK sent a tweet on May 18 saying: "Dear people of Scotland. We're selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying."
  • The tweet was an apparent reply to news that an Edinburgh McDonald's refused to sell milkshakes because Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was speaking nearby.
  • At the time "Milkshaking" politicians was somewhat common in the UK, with numerous prominent political figures having the drinks thrown over them by protesters.
  • The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned the already-deleted tweet on Wednesday, saying it "condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances."
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

A Burger King tweet from May 2018 encouraging people to throw milkshakes over politicians is now banned in the UK, after a regulator labelled it "irresponsible."

"Milkshaking" political figures was a common occurrence in the UK during May 2019, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, activist Tommy Robinson, and UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin, falling victim.

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled on Wednesday a May 18 tweet from Burger King's UK Twitter account incited anti-social behaviour, and must not be republished.

The tweet, deleted before the ruling, said: "Dear people of Scotland. We're selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying."

The tweet sent by Burger King which a UK advertising regulator has said encouraged anti-social behaviour.
Twitter/BurgerKingUK

Burger King's tweet was a veiled reply to news the day before that an Edinburgh McDonald's restaurant had banned milkshakes after police advised them they could be thrown over Farage at a nearby rally.

The ASA said, despite the jokey tone, the tweet still encouraged people to "milkshake" politicians - a viral act which involves hurling a full milkshake over someone in a public place.

Tommy Robinson (C) was hit with two milkshakes in early May 2018.
Getty

The ASA said the tweet, which received 24 complaints, "condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances."

"We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible."

48 hours after the tweet, on May 20, a man in Newcastle threw a £5.25 (R98) banana and salted caramel shake over Farage.

Burger King told the BBC in response to the ruling: "Our tweet regarding the situation in Edinburgh was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek reaction to the situation."

"It appears some have misinterpreted this as an endorsement of violence, which we absolutely reject."

"At Burger King, we totally believe in individuals' right to freedom of expression and would never do anything that conflicts with this. We'd never endorse violence or wasting our delicious milkshakes."

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