Ad Agency Apologizes for 'Pride Whopper' Gaffe

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday June 14, 2022

Burger King's Pride edition of its signature hamburger was a whopper, aright... of a botched PR attempt. The ad agency behind the epic blunder has issued an apology, Ad Age reported.

The article recalled that "Burger King Austria caused a stir on social media with its 'Pride Whopper' campaign that didn't quite land as intended with the LGBTQ+ community."

A rainbow-festooned ad posted to social media by the fast food chain raised eyebrows, featuring the familiar hamburger with a suggestive new twist: As previously reported, the Pride edition Whopper featured either two top buns or two bottom buns.

"Time to be proud," the ad proclaimed in English, while text in German boasted, "With two equal buns for equal love and equal rights."

Saying that the company is providing "an example for the equality of all identities and sexual orientations," the post promised that the Pride Whopper would "bring a smile to the face and remind us to treat each other with respect and peace."

"No matter who you are and who you love," the post added.

The smile part came true, though the smiles were apt to be of puzzlement and exasperation and served up with generous portions of eye rolling.

Ad Age reported that "Though the dominant online sentiment expressed seemed to be amused confusion rather than offense, it centered on the impression that 'Pride Whoppers' demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of how queer relationships work, primarily gay sex."

"Is... is someone going to tell them" one comment to the Instagram post wondered.

"One day Into pride month and already exhausted," another groaned.

"Burgee king really said : the tops and bottoms may EAT now," a third gibed.

A fourth put in: "Two tops and two bottoms omg"


Others wondered if the company was planning to donate a portion of the proceeds, or if the ad was a matter of "Pride washing."

"Late capitalism is a great time to be alive," one commenter posted.

"Hellu rainbow capitalism," another added, throwing in a clown-face emoji for good measure.

The ad drew comments over on Twitter, as well.

The response prompted an apology from the ad company that created the campaign. Vulture reported that "the agency behind the mess, Jung von Matt Donau, has said it's sorry for making you wonder if a fast-food chain understands gay sex."

"Our strongest concern is if we offended members of the LGBTQ Community with this campaign," Vulture quoted the ad agency as saying. "If this is the case, we truly apologize."

Explaining the gaffe, the agency added: "Unfortunately, we still messed up and didn't check well enough with community members on different interpretations of the 'Pride Whopper.' That's on us."

"Consulting with LGBTQ+ creatives and experts has emerged as key to successful Pride campaigning, such as in Postmates' recent work on queer sexual health," Ad Age noted.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.