Burger King To Sinclair: 'We're Not Having It Your Way'

In a rebuke of Sinclair Broadcast Group's plans to air a politically controversial program featuring part of a documentary criticizing Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War record, Burger King Wednesday said it "will not permit" its ads to run during Sinclair's broadcast.

"Burger King Corporation does not endorse any candidate or political party," said the Fast Food marketer's statement. "This action will only affect one day of advertising in a total of nine local markets in which the Company had previously scheduled local media advertising."

Burger King's move is the most visible action so far by a major marketer in response to Sinclair's decision to play partisan politics. Ironically, Burger King's declaration comes a day after Sinclair said it had modified plans to incorporate only part of anti-Kerry film "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." Originally, Sinclair was expected to broadcast the documentary in its entirety, but this week it announced plans to show part of it during a prime-time news special dubbed "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media."

Burger King, at least, seemed unmoved by the decision and even alluded that its decision to remain neutral on the topic was directly relevant to its advertising strategy.

Burger King recently launched the "non-partisan" Have It Your Way '04 campaign, including a companion website, which features a series of 15- and 30-second commercial encouraging young Americans to vote in this year's presidential election.