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Burger King withdraws ad after Mexican objection

April 15, 2009 |  9:07 am

Fast-food giant Burger King issued an apology and retracted an advertising campaign yesterday after complaints over an ad that featured a short Mexican wrestler wearing a cape bearing a resemblance to the Mexican flag.

Reuters reports this morning that the chain issued a statement Tuesday saying that "the ads were meant to show a mixture of influences from the Southwestern United States and Mexico, not to poke fun at Mexican culture.'' The company added that it plans to replace them "as soon as commercially possible."

"Burger King Corporation has made the decision to revise the Texican Whopper advertising . . . out of respect for the Mexican culture and its people," it said in a statement.

As we reported yesterday, Mexico's ambassador to Spain, Jorge Zermeno, said Monday he had written a letter to Burger King's offices objecting to the ad and asking that it be dropped.

In the meantime, mainstream Mexican newspaper Excelsior couldn't resist its own take on the ad debacle and this morning published a cartoon portraying U.S President Barack Obama (due here for an official visit  tomorrow and Friday) as the tall cowboy from the television ad. The newspaper casts the significantly shorter Mexican President Felipe Calderon as the Mexican fighter, and uses the line "United by Destiny."

You can see the cartoon here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

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