Ads and posts in support of Saudi Arabia's new crown prince by food chains were met with ridicule by social media users
McDonald’s and Burger King may be global competitors, but when it comes to Saudi politics, the fast food chains are on the same page. The Saudi franchises of both restaurants have pledged allegiance to Mohammed bin Salman who was promoted to crown prince on Wednesday.
Saudi citizens flocked to Mecca on Wednesday to congratulate and pledge loyalty to King Salman and his 31-year-old son and new heir. Even the man bin Salman replaced, Mohammed bin Nayef, was seen kissing the hand of his younger cousin.
But ads and social media posts voicing support for bin Salman by food chains were described as “bizarre” and met with ridicule by social media users around the world.
Photos of a full-page ad in a Saudi newspaper by McDonald’s lauding bin Salman and his father were shared on the internet.
— Hilal Maghnieh (@AlMaghnieh) June 22, 2017
“We renew our loyalty and obedience to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud,” the McDonald’s ad reads. “And we pledge allegiance to Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud as crown prince, deputy crown minister and minister of defence.”
The advertisement also asks God to grant bin Salman success and keep Saudis safe under the “wise leadership” of the monarchs.
The Saudi McDonald’s franchise is owned by Prince Mishaal Bin Khalid al Saud, a second cousin of bin Salman.
Burger King KSA also sent out a tweet in support of bin Salman, using the Arabic hashtag for pledging allegiance to the new crown prince.
It was not only burger chains backing the new heir to the throne in the kingdom - the Saudi franchise of Domino’s also pledged allegiance to bin Salman.
— دومينوز السعودية (@DominosKSA) June 21, 2017
Translation: We renew our promise of loyalty and allegiance to his highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his appointment as crown prince to the kingdom #Saudi
In a previous tweet, Domino’s KSA expressed gratitude to former Crown Prince bin Nayef for his services.
Other Saudi restaurants also joined in congratulating the young prince. Al Tazaj, a Jeddah-based fast food chain, tweeted a photo of bin Salman overlooking his father and grandfather, the founder of the kingdom, Abdul Aziz al Saud.
— Al Tazaj | الطازج (@Altazaj_Fakieh) June 22, 2017
Translation: We pledge allegiance to his royal highness Mohammed bin Salman on the book of god and the sunna of his prophet to be obedient
But amid domestic and regional uncertainty, such posts were the subject of mockery.
“First they cannot make a decent veggieburger and now this,” a Twitter user said in response to McDonald’s pledge.
Others asked for free food in celebration of the “joyous occasion”.
“Trump would looooove such ads,” one twitter user commented on a post showing a McDonald’s ad.