A Burger King tweet has been banned for encouraging anti-social behavior as it notified customers it was “selling milkshakes all weekend” – after the drinks were thrown at far-right figures.
The 18 May tweet, posted the day after a Brexit Party rally in Edinburgh, read: “Dear people of Scotland. We’re selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #Justsaying”
The fast food chain’s Edinburgh outlet was asked by police to temporarily stop selling milkshakes on the day of the rally, which featured party leader Nigel Farage.
A series of milkshake-related incidents had occurred in the run-up to the rally.
Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson and Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin were both drenched in the drinks by members of the public as they campaigned during the European elections.
In one incident, Mr Robinsonappeared to throw punchesat a man who had thrown milkshake over him during a heated exchange in Warrington, Cheshire.
Mr Farage was alsodoused in milkshakedays after his Edinburgh appearance, during a campaign walkabout in Newcastle.
According to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), 24 people complained that Burger King’s tweet was offensive and irresponsible.
Complainants argued it encouraged violence and anti-social behavior.
But Burger King defended its tweet, saying it “absolutely rejects” that the post endorsed violence.
It argued: “Our tweet regarding the situation in Edinburgh was intended to be a tongue- in-cheek reaction to the situation. “
A follow-up tweet posted by the fast food chain at the time read:” We’d never endorse violence – or wasting our delicious milkshakes! the weekend and please drink responsibly people. “
However the ASA concluded the tweet was” irresponsible “and” condoned the previous anti-social behavior and encouraged further instances “.
It said: “Although we acknowledged that the tweet may have been intended as a humorous response to the suspension of milkshake sales by the advertiser’s competitor, in the context in which it appeared we considered it would be understood as suggesting that Burger King milkshakes could be used instead by people to ‘milkshake’ Nigel Farage.
“We told Burger King to ensure that its future marketing communications did not condone or encourage anti-social behavior.”