Facebook has Whopper of a problem with Burger King campaign

Facebook wasn't getting the joke behind the Whopper Sacrifice campaign.

While Burger King execs might have thought they were being pretty funny by offering Facebook users free hamburgers if they each deleted 10 online friends, Facebook wasn't getting the joke.

A Burger King spokeswoman Thursday told Computerworld that Facebook took exception to the Whopper Sacrifice campaign and after days of negotiations, the fast food chain halted it. On the Whopper Sacrifice site, Burger King now says simply: "Facebook has disabled the Whopper Sacrifice after your love for the Whopper sandwich proved to be stronger than 233,906 friendships."

"Basically, the Facebook team felt the application went against what they stand for — connecting people," said the spokesperson. "Facebook suggested changes to the application, such as not alerting people that they'd been sacrificed. They wanted that part disabled."

The spokeswoman said Burger King decided to kill the campaign rather than make Facebook's requested. She called the matter a "philosophical difference."

Since Burger King launched the application last week, about 60,000 people used it to delete the online friends, she added.

Burger King, which last year released the BK Polarizer widget that gauged people's political views, was trying to ride Facebook's popularity wave to connect with its primary customers — 18-to-34-year-olds who chow down on fast food burgers.

What better way to play with the notion of what really is an online friend than to judge their worth compared to ... a hamburger? And Burger King showed no mercy, though some good humor, by having the application send a message to the deleted friend to tell him that this person valued a Whopper more than their friendship. The app also acted as a counter, reminding the user how many more friends need to be evicted before they get that free Whopper.

On the Whopper Sacrifice site Thursday, Burger King was offering people the use of what they call an Angry-Gram, which sends people animated angry, screaming Whoppers. The site notes that Angry-Grams "are intended to be humorous and should not be used with an intent to harass."

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Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
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