back to article UK ads watchdog bans Burger King Twitter jibe for condoning chucking milkshakes at politicians

Heart-attack-in-a-bun purveyor Burger King has been given a stern talking to by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for supposedly encouraging antisocial behaviour. Cast your minds back to the European election trail of May 2019, when a clutch of angry Brits decided that throwing milkshakes at politicians would be a …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still can't beat (ba dum tss) John Prescott's egging and the punches afterwards. Some wag even came up with a flash John Prescott punch game.

    1. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

      Flash John Prescott

      "flash John Prescott punch game"

      There's nothing flash about John Prsscott.....

      Actually, I do remember that game now you mention it. One of the better points of Win98 I seem to recall.

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Re: Flash John Prescott

        So businesses are being harangued by government agencies. Not for encouraging "anti-social" behaviour, but because their product might be used for anti-social behaviour.

        Seems to me the politicians are just trying to insulate themselves from criticism, regardless of whether it is deserved or not. That's from the North Korean playbook.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Flash John Prescott

          Forgive me for going against the Register's readership (based on the votes you've received) but: Attacking politicians for campaigning in an election is seriously out of fucking order, and if you support it then you are too.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Flash John Prescott

            "Attacking politicians for campaigning in an election is seriously out of fucking order, and if you support it then you are too."

            It's chucking a milkshake over them, they don't end up in hospital. And it generally only happens to those people whose own supporters actually do put people in hospital.

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: Flash John Prescott

              It's political violence, it's illegal and it shuts down debate.

              Fucking hell, we've had a week of media outrage at someone using the word 'humbug' and you're supporting violent assault. Think on that.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Flash John Prescott

        There's nothing flash about John Prsscott.....

        Having Two Jags seems pretty flash to me...

      3. iron Silver badge

        Re: Flash John Prescott

        > There's nothing flash about John Prsscott...

        I don't know, the two Jags were pretty flash.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Flash John Prescott

          >> There's nothing flash about John Prsscott...

          Just to clear something up for younger readers, Flash was a browser plugin written by children whilst stoned that had so many security issues it made TalkTalk customer data servers look like Fort Knox.

      4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Flash John Prescott

        Both his jags were pretty flash

    2. Oliver Mayes

      While I despise the man himself, I think his reaction was entirely appropriate. You throw something at someone you have to expect that something's going to come back in your direction, whether an egg or a fist.

  2. Toni the terrible
    Joke

    Politicians

    Whilst not condoning anything that could possibly cause harm; there are many politicians I think deserve having something brown and squishy lofted in their general direction (choco smoothie maybe?) - just that we should not do it in reality, them being remarkably thin skinned.

    1. sbt Silver badge
      Alert

      Attack ideas, not people.

      In a democracy with free speech, attacking the opposition with anything other than words is a tactical error; it draws attention to the muppet and creates sympathy, while hardening the resolve of their supporters as the oppressed underdogs/victims. Even if said muppet is cynically exploiting fear/prejudice/etc to advance their cause.

      It's a mistake to focus on the singer, not the song.

      Also, total waste of a milkshake.

      If you don't live in a democracy with free speech, however, milky beverages are not going to work. Hong Kong Add Oil!

  3. Allonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Steven Joyce

    You forgot one of the best throwing-things-at-politicians incidents. Which is the time Steven Joyce, NZ's Minister for Economic Development, got clobbered by a genitalia-resembling pink rubber adult toy. There's video on the interwebs and everything.

    New Zealand. Showing the world how political inter^H^H^H^H^H discourse should be done since 1893.

    Icon because Paris, fnar fnar etc, obviously.

    1. S4qFBxkFFg
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Steven Joyce

      That reminds me of when Garry Kasparov had a speech interrupted by a well-equipped drone.

      (The icon works if you think of it going in the other direction.)

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Turnip surprise

    I think I would settle for eggs or a milkshake over having turnips thrown at me any day.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Turnip surprise

      Or rocks, bricks, bullets. Milkshakes are relatively harmless. But it does seem that our politicians everywhere are getting a bit sensitive and what to be treated like royals of old.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Turnip surprise

        politicians everywhere are getting a bit sensitive and what to be treated like royals of old.

        They should be thankful it's not headsmen lopping off rather than something creamy lobbed at, the way some are pushing populist support rhetoric - with the country already deeply divided over an issue - it's is deeply foolish or even intentionally so to exacerbate the problem with incendiary speech.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This was actually genius..

    They say there is no such thing as bad publicity.. and this thing has kept BK in the news without having to spend a penny..

    Marketing is a fickle thing, they never worry about long-term - I bet their social media team got a fat bonus, the boss got promoted, and the person who suggested this has it highlighted on his/her/confused CV!

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: This was actually genius..

      You could've just put 'their' and not been a dick.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: This was actually genius..

        Can you unironically call someone a "dick" for doing a bad gender pronoun gag? Did you just assume their offensive genitalia?

      2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: This was actually genius..

        "You could've just put 'their' and not been a dick."

        Right on. In fact why stop there! How dare he call them a 'person'? They might wish to identify as a trolley bin, frog spawn etc, and restricting them to being a 'person' is an assault on their basic rights as an entity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This was actually genius..

      As long as BK act contrite, I suspect that the number of people in BK's target market that approved of the tongue in cheek remarks would have been close to 100%. And as for market share, in a mature, stable market, altering it by a few percentage points for a month or two is the best you can hope for.

      Just because Twitter complains about something doesn't mean the complainers make any real difference.

      Similarly people who complain to the ASA - having your complaint upheld doesn't mean the message hasn't already got across and been approved by the audience, regardless of the outcome.

  6. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Eh?

    How can this be construed as aggressive or anti-social behaviour? Lobbing a milkshake over Farage in my mind is a perfectly natural thing to want to do to such a narcissistic and self promoting asshat.

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Eh?

      I despise Farage but isn't narcissistic and self promoting asshat the definition of a politician??

      1. Vincent Ballard
        Stop

        Re: Eh?

        Don't forget that Farage claims not to be a politician, despite having made a living from politics for a couple of decades now.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      Next time I’ll take turnips and say that it’s is in the spirit of Greek classicism.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        You could always cook them first. Less violence but a lot more satisfaction.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          Or be ultra-modern and make a turnip milkshake.

          1. moiety

            Re: Eh?

            Mashed neeps and tatties is particularly scottish dish; although it does have limitations as a projectile.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      When you can be convicted of threatening behaviour for referring to a female MP as a "Nazi" then to the "authorities" a joke is criminal (heck the Dankula thing already proved that) s well as this being an "equal" society, but should you dare to use uncouth language towards a lady then the system will come down on you like a tonne of bricks....double standard as usual....Corbyn caused a firestorm by calling May a Stupid Woman, yet myriads of female politicians use far worse language about men every single day and are lauded as "fierce", "empowered" "powerful" when in fact most of them are misandrist bigots to the core.

      MPs demand respect, while shovelling shit down our necks and then act like the victim when their lying is pointed out and go wailing to the media about people being so rude and mean to them (The SNP (members of both genders) and Labour (female MPs) being prime offenders for this)

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        "When you can be convicted of threatening behaviour for referring to a female MP as a "Nazi" then to the "authorities" a joke is criminal (heck the Dankula thing already proved that) s well as this being an "equal" society, but should you dare to use uncouth language towards a lady then the system will come down on you like a tonne of bricks....double standard as usual.."

        So...you feel threatened by women then?

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          "So...you feel threatened by women then?"

          Some women, yes. The days where men had a monopoly on aggressive, threatening behaviour or physical assault are long gone - there are plenty of women out there who make Ghengis Khan seem liberal.

      2. dave 81

        Re: Eh?

        All those downvotes, wow, how cucked are the commentards today?

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          "how cucked are the commentards today?"

          Most people don't feel so threatened by women that they have to resort to trying to prove how manly they are. Clearly you and others are deeply insecure.

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        "When you can be convicted of threatening behaviour for referring to a female MP as a "Nazi""

        That's not quite right though, is it? The guy was hurling abuse in the street at an MP during a protest, not just saying "you are a Nazi". And he admitted guilt, so a conviction was highly likely. And the charge was " intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour,"

        1. moiety

          Re: Eh?

          And that's not quite right either. I am an official criminal for telling a traffic warden to fuck off. My intent was not to cause alarm harassment or distress; my intent was to communicate my desire that they should fuck off. And I had to admit guilt because the question that is asked in court is not "Did you intend to cause butthole clenching; the vapours and distress?"; the question asked is "Did you tell them to fuck off?"

  7. NanoMeter

    Let's fart

    in the general direction of the politicians instead.

    1. seven of five

      Re: Let's fart

      with a catapult.

      1. desht

        Re: Let's fart

        Fetchez la vache.

  8. John Robson Silver badge

    Can the ASA

    not simply order all politicians to keep their mouths shut at all times?

  9. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    tossing

    Well, George H.W. Bush chucked his cookies in the Japanese PM's lap,didn't he? Or is chucking cookies an American usage only?

    Credit Burger King, though: I've never seen "drink responsibly" used in the context of milkshakes.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: tossing

      Well, George H.W. Bush chucked his cookies in the Japanese PM's lap,didn't he? Or is chucking cookies an American usage only?

      Japanese term for this is "bushusuru"

      1. seven of five

        Re: tossing

        I am afraid to google that..

  10. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I think the BK tweet if not intended to do so, demonstrated the stupidness of the police asking McDonalds to not sell milkshakes for that day, as if someone who was intent on throwing a milkshake would just say 'Oh McD's aren't selling them today, I won't bother going to the next nearest shop, café that sells milkshakes, I will just go home instead'

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Especially when the McDonalds in question is inside a branch of Asda, and Asda was still selling its uaul range of liquid-based products, many of them a lot cheaper than a McDonalds milkshake, and some of them, more dangerous. Asda Smart Price Thin Bleach for example, 38p for a 2 litre bottle, comes with lots of warning labels.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        But (for obvious reasons) not in a container that will burst on contact.

        Safety tip: Don't throw anything you're not willing to try and catch.

        1. Lockwood

          I throw NotImplementedExceptions and let other people catch them.

      2. Ordinary Donkey

        Yes, but as was pointed out in the Jo Brand controversy, if you throw an open bottle of bleach at someone in the UK it's a mandatory life sentence even if you miss.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          yet batter someone to the extent of causing permanent impairment and you'll be unlucky to get more than 8 years and be out in 3 or 4

          As usual hammer on the latest newspaper headline while ignoring much more prevalent events - i.e. car emissions vs cargo ship emissions

          1. Ordinary Donkey

            So, just to be clear about this, when did an acid attack cause less than permanent impairment?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Permanent Physical Impairment" as in leaving someone reliant on a wheelchair or worse.

              Caustic substance attacks (never got why the media described bleach as an "acid" apart from journos being thick) are terrible, but why a life sentence for that when leaving someone with brain damage and paraplegic after an assault will result in a sentence of sub 10 years??

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                >Caustic substance attacks (never got why the media described bleach as an "acid" apart from journos being thick) are terrible, but why a life sentence for that when leaving someone with brain damage and paraplegic after an assault will result in a sentence of sub 10 years??

                There was the case of Mark van Dongen in 2015, who lost his eyesight in his left eye, damaged in the right, and was left paralysed and had his lower left leg amputated after his girlfriend threw a corrosive substance over him. He volunteered for euthanasia as a result.

              2. Wellyboot Silver badge

                There were a few battery acid incidents before cheap bleach was identified as easier to find and it allows for a bigger typeface. Not many journos in the general media remember even this basic level of science from school.

      3. Danny 2 Silver badge

        That Asda was also allowed to keep selling it's milkshakes. I'd recommend an old style Fairy Liquid bottle filled with red paint as it's a safe distance-weapon.

        My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard

        And they're like, it's better than yours

        Damn right it's better than yours

        I can teach you, but I have to charge

  11. LeahroyNake Silver badge

    Long may it continue

    The Reg may be on shaky ground with that one lmao

    Some people just can't take a joke!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long may it continue

      Long may it continue

      In other words, keep milking it for as long as possible

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        Re: Long may it continue

        In other words, keep milking it for as long as possible

        Regardless of the chilly reception

  12. Stuart 18

    In the steps of BK....

    they follow...

    "Long may it continue. ®"

    ________

    Dear ASA the register(tm) appear to be condoning abuse of politicians!? Good on them!! please advise them accordingly.

  13. tiggity Silver badge

    ASA are useless

    Humour bypass in situations like this & ban an "ad" (could argue not all posts on a twitter account are adverts - as provides a way for people to interact with a brand - and jokey comments / images on twitter accounts are fairly standard on company accounts (Poundland a great example)

    Meanwhile ISPs massively mislead about likely broadband speeds and not a slap on the wrist to be found.

  14. Tempest
    WTF?

    What Happened To The British Bulldog?

    Nearly 80 years ago millions gave their lives or suffered injuries for the cause of freedom.

    What a waste - given the Nanny Regime that has insinuated itself in to British life and has resulted in almost every facet of life in Britain.

    If you don't agree with a advertisement or display, simply don't buy their products.

    A friend was in London a few weeks ago and was having a loud 'discussion' with someone who had short-changed my friend. Some character, in street clothes, flipped open his Plod I.D. and said they were breaching some law. My friend, who is university educated, addressed the alleged Plod using an extended vocabulary, expressing himself more vehemently.

    Plod responded said he didn't understand what my friend said but Plod said he could be arrested based on his 'attitude'. I think this is what the Army called 'dumb insolence' when I served. My friend switched to Chinese and repeated his opinions, leaving Plod with a blank look on his face.

    Seemingly any of the standards that were current but a few years ago have been swept away by the standards adopted by authorities.

    Sad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What Happened To The British Bulldog?

      You really think that the British govt didn't look upon the "efficiency" and "order" of Nazi Germany with total envy? Last 70 odd years they have been tirelessly working to reassert the "natural" order of things, get the "right" sort with "proper" breeding into their "rightful" place in society and get the "lesser" classes back down where they "belong".

      Same reason they have their knickers in a knot over facial recognition and the boundless potential to keep tabs on and control all of us....no place to hide, no "private" life, Nanny sees and knows where ALL naughty children are at all times. Stuff even the Stasi would have considered overreach and intrusive.

      Same reason we "studied" Chinese surveillance so much, not to condemn it but to learn from it. Next will be the great British/SNPistan firewall to keep out "divisive" "discriminatory" "misogynist" and other "unacceptable" content from the eyes of the populace and instead blare out only "approved" information...

  15. baud Bronze badge

    On the matter of throwing foodstuff at politicians, I'm disappointed to see no mention of throwing pies, with, for example, Noël Godin who threw a pie at Bill Gate and many, many others.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      I'm disappointed to see no mention of throwing pies

      Quite right, and, given the rich British music hall, The Goodies, Tiswas and Crackerjack (Crackerjack???) traditions, they should be proud to take it in the face.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politicians these days

    It's not like I am asking them to store some gunpowder at their place for me

  17. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Hang on....

    So you're telling me that tweets can get banned by the ASA?

    Does this cover anyone who advertises? If so.. Then does it mean that we can report politicians to the ASA for whatever they've brain farted into a tweet this week? And that's just for starters...

    1. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge

      Re: Hang on....

      I am assuming it was a promotional tweet, so most likely ASA have jurisdiction over it. On the other hand, if Twitter is an American company, does ASA still have jurisdiction over tweets.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    police asked a McDonald's to kindly stop selling the frothy treat for the duration.

    This would be completely unnecessary in my area.

    The shake machines at McDonald's are ALWAYS down and only used as props..

    (Sorry, ranting bitter fat man here)

  19. violetfyxe

    I'm fundamentally against all physical assault, however minor, because it paves the way for escalation. That said BK wasn't endorsing the act, they were simply taking a dig at MDs. I guess this just continues the trend of 'illegal humour' in the UK, pretty soon you'll need to go the the black market for jokes.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        "he relentless urge for a feminist Austenite world"

        Are you afraid ?

    2. joeW Silver badge

      I think it may have been the "Have fun!" that pushed the tweet over the line. Still a ridiculous decision of course.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Silly

    Just a bit of humour........just sayin'.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh happy days...

    ...When we were shooting and bombing fascists with intent to kill and most people were up for it, or forced into it by their government.

    Nowadays a milkshake is too much.

  22. CountCadaver Bronze badge

    Airstrip one incoming

    Heading more and more everyday for an Orwellian police state.....

    ASA is an anachronism and gamed by "activists" on all sides of the debate, while the rest of us shrug our shoulders and get on with life,

    #poor attempt at sourcecode

    IF < 50% UK.Adults.population.status="complain"

    Then IGNORE

    Do

    (I know I know its nowhere near right but you get the gist)

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Airstrip one incoming

      "Close enough"

      ... as the engineer said to the mathematician

  23. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Silly me

    I assumed the issue was going to be Burger King unfairly mocking McDonalds for complying with an offical request.

    ... but no..... it's the sort of wishy washy crap that give bomby-bob-bob an excuse to moan about lefties.

  24. Cranky_Yank
    Joke

    Turnabout is fair play

    If a milkshake is thrown at a person like Farage could one say the tosser has become the tossee?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes, but

    Can we still throw Farage into a milkshake?

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Yes, but

      Going to be plenty of spoiling milk available when it all stacks up at the border...

  26. Handlebars

    my milkshake

    My milkshake brings all the cops to Farage

  27. BrownishMonstr Bronze badge
    Pint

    Can we throw beers, instead? Beers from 'spoons?

    1. Is It Me Bronze badge

      You want to give 'Spoons money, that will just keep encouraging the "lovely" owner as their profits grow.

  28. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "Throwing things at politicians has a rich and cultured history. ... Long may it continue."

    Seriously El Reg, didn't you get the message that this type of encouragement is wrong #snigger

  29. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Vespasian..

    Vespasian was once pelted with turnips

    Probably something to do with his family - his father was a debt and tax collector (colloquially called a "tax farmer") hence the turnips.

    Which was a bit of a shame because he was a pretty effective emperor - certainly a vast improvement on his predecessors. One of his sons was also a good emperor (sadly short-lived - possibly having been poisoned by his brother Domitian) and the other was decidedly of the Nero type (said brother Domitian - who ended up being assassinated by his own court officials)

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