Mcdonalds and Burger King used to use their social media accounts to post pictures of fries and burgers in Azerbaijan, but a few weeks ago they change the nature of their post on Instagram and Facebook.
After the military conflict rose between Armenia and Azerbaijan last month, the fast-food chains in Azerbaijan supported their home country in the conflict.
The posts which were removed came after when the fight was at its peak between the two countries, the fight was one of the worst happened since the 1900s over the disputed region of Nagorno–Karabakh an ethnic region of Armenians which is with Azerbaijan. Fighting in that region made around thirty thousand people die and more than one million people were displaced in 1994, now again the conflict has occurred.
The enclave normally operates under Armenia and it is an independent state, but Azerbaijan considers it as occupied territory.
Mcdonalds posted on the Instagram account that,” Every inch of the land is one and not dividable”. And also the Burger King posted that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”. That account which is not verified by Instagram was used to post stuff like pictures of burgers and fries before the conflict.
On Tuesday Mcdonald’s spokesperson stated that the franchisee in Azerbaijan had removed the post from their Instagram accounts, but he didn’t respond to the question regarding the policies on political speech by the local stores.
No response came from Burger King, but his posts disappeared later.
Daniel Korschun an associate professor of marketing at Drexel University said that the franchises are set to give them the freedom to operate concerning the local conditions but the news regarding the posts were resonated all through the network of franchises.
The Armenian National Committee of America said that it was shocking to see that brands like Mcdonalds posted such content and they are boycotting the fast-food giant until strict action is taken.
Korschun added that big brands like McDonald’s and Burger King give the franchisee the right to operate their franchises concerning the local norms but in case of reputational damage there are clauses to terminate the contract of a franchise.
Korschun also added that the franchisees are putting the franchisers into political issues, like for example the tensions between Hong Kong and China and Taiwan.
In 2018 a local hotel owner in Taiwan cut ties with American hospitality company Marriott.