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Burger King 'Plant Based' Rebel Whopper Advert Banned As It's Not Suitable For Vegans

Burger King 'Plant Based' Rebel Whopper Advert Banned As It's Not Suitable For Vegans

The industry watchdog said the advert could be misleading as the meal is prepared on the same grill as other meat dishes

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

Burger King will no longer be allowed to advertise the Rebel Whopper as '100 percent plant based' as it could mislead vegans into thinking it was suitable for them to eat.

As it is cooked on the same grill as the original meat-based Whopper, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has said that the commercials shared online during its launch, which coincided with 'Veganuary', were not accurate.

As well as the cooking conditions, the fast-food giant had also omitted the fact that the Rebel Whopper was dressed in Mayonnaise.

Therefore, the body said, vegan viewers could have been led to believe that they would be able to eat it.

Ruling on the case, the ASA said: "Because the overall impression of the ads was that the burger was suitable for vegans and vegetarians when in fact it was not, we concluded that the ads were misleading."

The ASA ruled that the adverts for the Rebel Whopper were misleading.
Burger King

The ban was based on three adverts, which were shared across Facebook and Twitter.

The Facebook ad included some small print that read: "*Product is cooked alongside meat products."

However, this information was left out of a very similar advert that was shared on Twitter.

It read: "You asked and we listened. Introducing the Rebel Whopper, our first plant-based burger!"

In mitigation, the firm's parent company BKUK Group Ltd argued that they had included small print, which explained that the meal may not be suitable for everyone.

The chain also claimed that they had told media outlets about the distinction and that customers were able to ask for the mayonnaise to be left out, if they wanted.

The burger chain won't be able to republish the ads in their same format.

However, the ASA ruled that this was not sufficient warning for vegans who may have seen these ads and believed they were able to eat the product.

Therefore, the body stated that these adverts are not to be published again, at least not in their original format.

Last year, a Deliveroo advert was also banned for being 'misleading'.

It was the advert that haunted us on Sky Sports breaks. The woman walks through the front door, shouting: "DELIVEROO - Chinese, KFC, Wagamama, Greek salad - no carbs before Marbs, eh Karen?"

The decision was taken because the 30-second clip implied that food from multiple restaurants could be delivered in one go - which we all know is not the case.

Watchdogs received 300 complaints about the advert which, at the time, made it the third most complained about ad of 2019.

The complaints were upheld by the (ASA) and it was found to be in breach of rules regarding misleading advertising and qualifications.

Featured Image Credit: Burger King

Topics: UK News, Interesting