Ad Execs Discuss Burger King's International Women’s Day Tweet Misfire

"After Burger King’s International Women’s Day tweet got grilled for resonating as sexist, the company’s global chief marketing officer says it was “obviously not our intent” to offend.

The burger brand launched a new IWD campaign on Monday to announce it is investing in scholarships to develop women’s culinary skills in the U.S., U.K., Mexico and elsewhere. When just 24% of U.S. chefs and 7% of head chefs are women, the goal was to help close the gender gap. Those good intentions, however, were distracted from because of a single tweet from Burger King U.K.: “Women belong in the kitchen.”

In a follow-up tweet, Burger King U.K. continued: “If they want to, of course. Yet only 20% of chefs are women. 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.” But by then, its intentions were already cooked

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Some observers from the marketing world say Burger King’s campaign had the right intention, but didn’t match the tone of the moment. Mindy Sears, group creative director at the marketing agency RAPP, says the pandemic has already taken away a lot from women.

“With our reality right now during this pandemic, so many women have lost scholastics and daycare support,” Sears says. “And now since last year, 2 million women have left the labor force. So they don’t have the support that they had and they’re not able to work the way they want to work.”

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