Burger King's Swedish branch has launched a free burger campaign in support of Saudi ladies who have recently been granted the right to drive.
"We celebrate the car-driving women in Saudi Arabia with a small gift: starting from June 24th and for the following month, a free WhoppHER will be given to all women in Saudi Arabia driving through our drive-thru," Burger King Sweden wrote, adding a disclaimer that the campaign only applies to drive-thru restaurants in Saudi Arabia.
Shortly afterwards, the campaign came under fire on social media, as many users reacted to the campaign on Burger King's Facebook page, slamming its name, which, they argued, yielded distasteful misinterpretations.
"Uh. Have you missed that 'WhoppHer' is slang for 'beat her'? Fail?" a user wondered.
"Here at Burger King Sweden, we celebrate women in Saudi Arabia driving a car, so we invite them to our new campaign 'Beat her' when they appear in the drive-thru!" wrote another.
"Haha. I'm dying. Thank you for pitching in this year's biggest advertising f**k-up," a third one said.
Some users found the name "WhoppHer" ironically fitting for a country where corporal punishment is allowed.
"Why should we in Sweden know about this campaign at all? I thought I followed Burger King Sweden and not Burger King Saudi Arabia," yet another disgruntled Swede wondered.
Burger King Sweden, however, warned against any misinterpretations, arguing that the aim of the campaign was to celebrate an important humanitarian victory of international importance. On its Facebook page, Burger King Sweden also was at pains to stress that the name of the campaign is "WhoppHer" and not "Whop Her."
The historic driving ban for women, the only one in the world, was repealed earlier, in June. Earlier this year, Saudi women were also granted the right to attend football matches.