Who is more deserving to be the Belgian monarch: A man who was — literally — born to do the job, or a fast food chain? However silly that question might sound, it’s one that the actual King of Belgium would rather Burger King didn’t ask.
BK is opening its first restaurant in Belgium in June, and to promote the event it’s launched a campaign called “Who is the king?” featuring a cartoon likeness of King Philippe of Belgium, who ascended to the throne in 2013 after his father abdicated.
Reps for the monarch tell Reuters that they are “not happy with them using an image of the king in their campaign.”
Visitors to WhoIsTheKing.be are presented with a cartoon version of the king and a Burger King burger and asked to vote. “Two Kings. One crown. Who will rule? Vote now … ” the site reads.
“We disapprove of this approach,” royal spokesman Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw told the BBC. “Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorization.”
After the monarch’s representatives expressed their displeasure, a spokeswoman for Burger Brands Belgium says the company is weighing whether to tweak the advertising. As of May 30, the cartoon king remains.
“We are deliberating on how to proceed,” she told Reuters. “Should we make a change to our campaign we would communicate that.”