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Advertising watchdog condemns Bicky Burger advertisment

The campaign was meant to show that a real Bicky Burger is sold in a green box, not a white one. Credit: Facebook/Bicky Burger

The Jury for Ethical Practices condemned on Tuesday an advertisement by Belgian hamburger brand Bicky Burger that surfaced on social media in early October.

The Belgian hamburger brand was heavily criticised for an advertisement which depicted a man punching a woman in the face for bringing him a “fake Bicky”. The advertisement was originally shared by Bicky Burger on a Facebook post, which has since been deleted.

The advertising watchdog, Jury for Ethical Practices (JEP), received almost 700 complaints about the campaign since 8 October.

“The image in the advertisement normalises violence between partners and is a clear undermining of gender equality,” the JEP explained when summarising the complaints in a press release.

“It is derogatory and unacceptable to suggest that women may be treated as shown if they put ‘bad’ food on the table. This reprehensible behaviour endangers the physical integrity of women,” the statement explained.

However, because Bicky Burger immediately removed the campaign, the company will not receive any sanctions. Nevertheless, the decision is important because it acts as a reminder of the legal and ethical limits of advertising, according to the JEP.

“It was a campaign that- quite rightly- aroused great indignation among the public, among policymakers and within the advertising sector itself,” Sandrine Sepul of the JEP explained.

As Bicky Burger is the product of a Dutch company, the JEP passed the case over to their Dutch colleagues, who also agreed that the complaints against the advertisement were well-founded.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times