LOS ANGELES, California – In an email to the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR), Burger King has issued an apology for posts made by its Azerbaijan franchisee expressly supporting Azerbaijan’s genocidal war effort.
The ANCA-WR contacted Burger King’s Board of Directors as part of its #BoycottHate campaign to express the concern of the Armenian community over the use of its brand’s platform to promote the Azerbaijani government’s campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Burger King’s reply read:
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We assure you that the social media posts referencing Azerbaijan were not in line with our brand guidelines and do not reflect the opinions of the Burger King brand.
We have confirmed that the franchisee removed the content shortly after the original posting, and that the message included in the post will not be repeated.
We apologize for this incident and will work with the franchisee to ensure that the Burger King restaurants in Azerbaijan concentrate on providing the great tasting, high quality food that our guests have come to expect from us.
Late last month, the Azerbaijani franchisees of McDonald’s and Burger King posted images on their social media platforms indicating support for Azerbaijan’s genocidal aggression against the Armenian people. The posts included comments such as “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”, and “Victory is with you, Azerbaijani soldier.”
Both Burger King and McDonald’s removed the social media posts when the issue was brought to their attention.
“Azerbaijan has a history of using global brands and cultural symbols to whitewash its human rights abuses,” remarked ANCA-WR Board Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “Having Burger King disavow the posts made by its franchisee and apologize for the oversight is an important step towards the dismantling of Azerbaijan’s nefarious global influence machine.”
In the past month, activism throughout the global Armenian diaspora has seen important victories against the Turkish and Azerbaijani governments. In October, prominent firms including DLA Piper, Livingston Group and Mercury Public Affairs terminated their foreign agent registration for Turkey and Azerbaijan in response to community protests. And in the past week, U.S.-based technology manufacturers including Viasat, Trimble Navigation, and Beringer Aero have vowed to suspend the exports to Turkey after it was discovered their parts were used in Bayraktar UAVs (drones) that have been deployed in Azerbaijan to rain terror on civilian populations.