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Misogyny, slavery references and a man vomiting a dog: Advertising campaigns people found incredibly offensive

Burger King

Burger King is getting sued over the size of its Whopper

Advertising can bring out the creative sides of businesses and really show the world what they are about.

However, while some are iconic, like this incredible Apple commercial, some go in the other direction.

Some commercials have gone down in history, but all for the wrong reasons.

Advertising campaigns are the key to telling the world exactly what your business is about, whether big or small.

Of course, you want it to be perfect and draw people in, but sometimes what everyone thinks is a brilliant idea turns out to be the very opposite


Here are the most controversial and unsuccessful advertising campaigns ever.

Burger King: “Women belong in the kitchen”

Last year, Burger King UK thought it was a good idea to tweet “women belong in the kitchen” on International Women’s Day.

This was followed up by an ad promoting cooking scholarships for female employees.

It said: “If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women.”

The overall idea was well-intentioned, but it didn’t get the reaction the company hoped, unless it particularly wanted a flood of complaints.

As you can imagine, it caused outrage on social media and Burger King was made to apologize.

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PureGym: “12 Years a Slave Workout”

PureGym Luton and Dunstable posted a workout on their Facebook page in October 2020.

The name of it was “12 Years A Slave”.

That’s already bad enough, but what made it even worse was that it was written with the line, “Slavery was hard, and so is this.”

The company took the post down and made a public apology amid all the outrage, saying they did not authorize the post before it was made.

Even after apologizing, people continued to vent their fury on social media for the company’s poor behavior during Black History Month.

Very much a case of “what were they thinking?”

KFC: “Mouthful”

A catchy advertisement for a fast food company sounds like it can’t go wrong, right?

In 2005, KFC’s marketing team wanted an office full of people with loads of food in their mouths should sing their new AD.

This was meant to be portrayed as a comical AD and to make their food seem captivating.

However, all it did was come across as extremely annoying and a bit repulsive.

It received more than 1,000 complaints from parents saying it would encourage bad table manners in their children.

Wrigley’s: “Dog Breath”

TV viewers across the UK were shocked, to say the least, when they saw a man coughing up an entire dog in 2003.

It was an AD for Wrigley’s Xcite chewing gum to “Fight dog breath.”

They certainly didn’t hold back with the image, which is quite graphic.

It didn’t give the brand a flattering look as they imagined.

Instead, they received so many complaints it would be enough to be banned.

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