A Burger King campaign in Spain released during Holy Week has backfired—thousands are calling, not for juicy burgers, but for a boycott. The campaign included the phrases “flesh of my flesh” and “take and eat of it,” the latter of which echoes the words of Jesus when he instituted the sacrament of communion.
“We apologize to all those who have been offended by our campaign aimed at promoting our vegetable products at Easter,” Burger King’s Spain account tweeted on April 17, which was Easter Sunday [Editor’s note: All translations of quotes in Spanish were obtained through Google Translate]. “Our intention has never been to offend anyone and the immediate withdrawal of the campaign has already been requested.”
Pedimos disculpas a todos aquellos que se hayan sentido ofendidos por nuestra campaña dirigida a promocionar nuestros productos vegetales en Semana Santa. Nuestra intención nunca ha sido ofender a nadie y ya ha sido solicitada la retirada inmediata de la campaña.
— Burger King (@burgerking_es) April 17, 2022
Burger King Campaign Angers Christians in Spain
About 60% of the population of Spain is Catholic and it is traditional for members of the Catholic Church to give up meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Fridays during Lent. The Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis explains:
Since Jesus sacrificed his flesh for us on Good Friday, we refrain from eating flesh meat in his honor on Fridays. Flesh meat includes the meat of mammals and poultry, and the main foods that come under this heading are beef and pork, chicken and turkey. While flesh is prohibited, the non-flesh products of these animals are not, things like milk, cheese, butter, and eggs. Fish do not belong to the flesh meat category.
A photo circulating on Twitter shows two ads from the Burger King campaign. One pictures a burger with the text, “All of you take and eat of it,” noting the burger is vegetarian. The other says, “Flesh of my flesh,” phrasing that echoes the words of Adam when he first sees Eve as recounted in Genesis 2. In that ad, the word “flesh” is crossed out and “vegetable” is written in its place.
While some found the campaign funny and creative, the ads angered others. “Burger King has heavily insulted the Catholic Church in Spain by repeating the sacred words of the priests during mass,” tweeted one user. “Now they compare the Holy body of Jesus to burger meat.”
Twitter user P. Juan Manuel Góngora, whose profile says he is a priest and hospital chaplain, tweeted, “Hello @burgerking_es. Due to your offensive campaign against the Eucharist, I advise my more than 46,000 followers never to go to an establishment of yours again. Let’s see if that’s how we learn respect. #BoycottBurgerKing.”
— Jacob Herrera E (@JacobHerreraE) April 17, 2022