Burger King goes off the deep end, again, this time in Mexico

Burger King is at it again with its wacky ads that often seem to offend at least one facet of society. This time, the self-proclaimed king of the grilled hamburger is insulting an entire country.

Update: Burger King says it will pull the ads as fast as commercially possible, meaning they're still on TV and elsewhere in Europe for now, but should be removed soon.

According to an Associated Press story, ad ad for Burger King's chili-flavored "Texican" burger that has run in Europe shows a small wrestler wearing a cape resembling a Mexican flag living with a tall American cowboy to illustrate how two can get together for a cross-border blend of flavors.

"The taste of Texas with a little spicy Mexican," a narrator says.

UPDATE: Burger King announced that it was pulling the ad and apologized.

But here's the ad if you want to see what it was like:

The backstory is this: Mexico's ambassador to Spain wrote a letter to Burger King's office there objecting to the ad and asking that it be removed because the ads "improperly use the stereotyped image of a Mexican."

Burger King has done this before, with ads about Whopper virgins who have never tasted the hamburger before, and its marketing has been a bit on the wild side. Around Christmas it introduced its "Flame" body spray to give men a chance to smell like flame-broiled meat, and in January it pulled ads offering a free Whopper to anyone getting rid of 10 Facebook friends.

Being edgy is great, but offending a nation is a new low. Mexico has strict rules about using its flag. In 2008 the government fined a foreign-owned publishing house for showing disrespect to the country's flag in a video posted online.

A Taco Bell ad in the 1990s featuring a talking Chihuahua with a Mexican accent spurred objections among Mexicans and other Hispanics in the United States.

So far, the "Texican" ad hasn't reached the United States, but when it does, especially in areas that border Mexico, get ready for some more outrage.

Aaron Crowe is an unemployed journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read about his job search at www.AaronCrowe.net
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