Belgium’s royal family has taken action against Burger King over a controversial new commercial. The monarchy is appalled that the online ad asks people to choose who should be the country’s king, the current King Philippe or the company’s famous regal mascot.
Visitors to the site whositheking.be who vote for the real-life royal are told they made the wrong decision and are asked, “Are you sure? He won’t be the one to cook your fries?”
Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw, a spokesperson for the family, told the BBC that they strongly “disapprove” with Burger King’s marketing approach. He further explained that a company is not allowed to use the monarch’s image without their approval. “Since it is for commercial purposes, we have not given our authorization,” he stated to the British news network.
The ad has yet to be taken down and according to the website voting for the “king” closes on June 19. The online marketing campaign was originally created to help gain traction for the opening of Belgium’s first Burger King store in late June.'
A representative for the fast food chain told the news agency EFE that they have not received any communication from the Belgian royal family on the matter.
King Philippe has reigned since 2013 after his father, King Albert II, announced his abdication. He has four children with his wife Queen Mathilde, including Princess Elisabeth, who will one day become Belgium’s first queen.