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Fast food giant Burger King was forced to apologize amid backlash stemming from a Holy Week themed advertising campaign in Spain.
“We apologize to all those who have felt offended by our campaign aimed at promoting our vegetable products during Holy Week. Our intention has never been to offend anyone and the immediate withdrawal of the campaign has already been requested,” Burger King posted on Twitter on Easter Sunday.
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The apology came after users on social media slammed the company for a billboard campaign that promoted its new vegetarian burger using the words of Jesus at the Last Supper.
“Take all of you and eat of it,” one of the ads said. “Which doesn’t have meat. 100% vegetarian. 100% flavor. Big King Vegetable.”
Another ad read, “Flesh of my flesh,” but crossed out the word “flesh” and replaced it with vegetable.
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The ad campaign drew the ire from Catholics on social media in Spain, where over 60% of the population is Catholic, with some using the hashtag #boicottBurgerKing calling for a boycott and others signing an online petition calling on the company to fire a top level executive.
“They mock the Eucharist and the death of Christ in the most sacred time for Christians,” the petition said. “They take advantage of Holy Week to launch an offensive campaign against the millions of believers in order to get publicity and money.”
“Apparently, the loss of culinary taste and the lack of respect for religious sentiments go hand in hand,” Bishop José Ignacio Munilla of Orihuela-Alicante tweeted in response to the ad.
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Burger King did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.