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Burger King agency is sorry about Pride Whopper fiasco

Burger King Pride Whopper with slogan scribbled out
(Image credit: Burger King Austria/Future)

If you were anywhere online last week, you may have seen the by-now infamous ‘Pride Whopper’ campaign launched on Instagram by Burger King’s Austrian division. Well, the commotion it raised was apparently significant enough that the agency behind it, Jung von Matt Donau, has issued an apology. 

The elevator pitch of the campaign was that the burger could be ordered with two of the same bun halves – so, two of the seeded top bun, or two of the flat bottom bun. The idea clearly being a kind of inelegant, bready tribute to same-sex love and all that good stuff. However, there was a specific reason that it quickly became something that's probably going to end up in our list of the worst design fails of 2022.

Burger King Pride Whopper on coloured background

"For equal love and equal rights." — A burger (Image credit: Burger King Austria)

The thing was – as many, many people pointed out – that the campaign meant you could order a burger that consisted of two tops or two bottoms

We said at the time that we weren’t sure whether this was intentional – and now it seems like it very much wasn’t. In a statement posted on LinkedIn (opens in new tab), the agency said, “We at JvM Donau are proud of our queer community within our agency. 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.”

The agency went on to apologise to any “members of the LGBTQ Community” who were offended by the campaign. “We’ve learned our lessons and will include experts on communicating with the LGBTQ community for future work as promoting equal love and equal rights will still be a priority for us,” the statement concluded.

The reaction on Twitter didn't appear to just be people offended by the campaign; there was actually quite a mixture, with a lot of people somewhere along a scale between being baffled and taking a lot of vicious schadenfreude joy in the whole thing.

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But of course, it's impossible to speak for everyone, and if queer people did feel offended by the campaign, then Jung von Matt Donau is definitely right to have apologised.

Although, with that said, the campaign is still live and raking in the engagements on Burger King Austria’s Instagram (opens in new tab). So, the key takeaway seems to be that we’re currently at different levels of “sorry” across the Pride Whopper coalition.

If you'd like to see some actually decent Pride content, check out our run-down of the 5 best Pride logos this year. And if that inspires you to make your own, you may want to use one of the best logo designers or best free logo makers to help.

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Jon is a freelance writer and journalist who covers photography, art, technology, and the intersection of all three. When he's not scouting out news on the latest gadgets, he likes to play around with film cameras that were manufactured before he was born. To that end, he never goes anywhere without his Olympus XA2, loaded with a fresh roll of Kodak (Gold 200 is the best, since you asked). Jon is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq, and has also written for in Digital Camera World, Black + White Photography Magazine, Photomonitor, Outdoor Photography, Shortlist and probably a few others he's forgetting.