Pregnant pause on Burger King baby post

MOSCOW • Unsavoury incidents at the World Cup sidelines this week have been condemned, with Burger King drawing whopping criticism for a social media post that sought to reward "women who get pregnant from world football stars".

The advertisement, offering three million roubles (S$64,000) and a lifetime supply of Whoppers, carried an image of a woman holding her baby bump. It is part of an effort, the company's Russian team said, to inherit "the best football genes".

"For these girls, it will be possible to get the best football genes, and will lay down the success of the Russian national team on several generations ahead," the ad reads in part, according to a Deadspin translation. "Forward! We believe in you!"

It was posted on Tuesday morning and deleted that night after a scathing social media reaction.

In a statement, Burger King apologised for the ad.

"We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online," they wrote. "As soon as it was brought to our attention, we had it removed." On social media, the company's Russian division said it took down the ad because it was "too insulting".

In a separate incident last Friday, a female reporter was groped and kissed by a man as she attempted to do a live World Cup broadcast.

Julieth Gonzalez Theran continued with her report from Saransk for Deutsche Welle's Spanish news channel but later blasted the fan.

"RESPECT! We do not deserve this treatment," she wrote in Spanish on an Instagram post that contained video of the incident.

"We are equally valuable and professionals. I share the joy of football, but we must identify the limits of affection and harassment."

In the video, the man, who has not been identified, runs up as she is speaking, appearing to touch her breast as he swoops in to kiss her on the cheek, and then runs off.

Gonzalez Theran, who is from Colombia and is based in Berlin according to her Instagram profile, has also worked for ESPN as a freelancer, providing football reports from Germany.

Bibiana Steinhaus, Germany's first female referee in the Bundesliga, called the man's behaviour "unacceptable".

"I feel for her, because this type of attack has happened several times in the past," she told Deutsche Welle. "Don't kid yourself that similar misogynist things do not happen."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2018, with the headline 'Pregnant pause on Burger King baby post'. Print Edition | Subscribe