Fast food war erupts as KFC trolls rival
An international marketing campaign by Burger King - Hungry Jacks in Australia - has gone viral for the wrong reasons.
The burger chain has been slammed for saying "women belong in the kitchen" on Twitter in a campaign timed with International Women's Day on March 8.
The social media post that hit the UK first coincided with a full-page advertisement in The New York Times in the US with the statement written in large, bold letters.
The campaign was met with a barrage of comments criticising the blatant message in what appeared to be an attention-seeking and sexist slur.
The burger chain attempted to defend the message as a promotion of its scholarship for female chefs and said women are underrepresented as chefs in the male-dominated hospitality industry, but the comments were met with backlash and sarcastic comments.
"Only 20 per cent of chefs are women," the message read. "We're on a mission to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by empowering female employees with the opportunity to pursue a culinary career."
Some people tweeted the message was "tone deaf' while others said they would refuse to eat at the chain. One user commented it was "hilariously staggering", criticising the comment as a major oversight.
Some users wondered why the company didn't go with a more obvious route of changing its name to "Burger Queen" for a day.
Another user posted an image of Mad Men's Donald Draper, a character known for his patriarchal chauvinism, with the caption, "We tell women they belong in the kitchen on International Women's Day."
Burger King responded with tweets, explaining the message was meant to support equality in commercial kitchens and promote the female scholarship program.
The company responded to a tweet from KFC Gaming which told Burger King to delete the post.
"Why would we delete a tweet that's drawing attention to a huge lack of female representation in our industry, we thought you'd be on board with this as well?" Burger King commented to KFC.
In a statement released after the marketing blunder, Burger King said it was "committed to helping women break through a male-dominated culinary culture in the world's fine dining restaurants".
"Our tweet in the UK today was designed to draw attention to the fact that only a small percentage of chefs and head chefs are women," the statement said.
"It was our mistake to not include the full explanation in our initial tweet and have adjusted our activity moving forward."
Women make up 25 per cent of the chef workforce in Australia, according to Job Outlook.
Originally published as Fast food war erupts as KFC trolls rival