|MADRID, Spain, Nov. 16, 2006|
(AP) Burger King should yank an ad campaign for its monster XXL burger _ the caloric equivalent of eating 10 fried eggs _ because it violates a Spanish initiative against obesity, the Health Ministry said Thursday.
The ministry said it had been asking the fast-food chain to abandon the campaign for more than a week because the commercials go against an agreement signed by the Spanish Federation of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs, of which Burger King is a member.
Under the agreement, members of the federation said they would refrain from promoting huge servings of food, the health ministry said.
An advertisement on Burger King's Spanish Web site features a photograph of the towering Double-Cheese Bacon XXL with the slogan: "It's awful being a vegetarian, right?"
The site describes the XXL as a Whopper "with two enormous portions of flame-broiled meat that will give you all the energy you need to take the world by storm."
Each sandwich has an average of 971 calories_ nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance for an active teenager_ and 25 grams of saturated fat, the Health Ministry said. The numbers could be even higher if condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise were added to the burgers.
"In this campaign, we are simply promoting a line of burgers that has formed part of our menu in recent years," Burger King said in a statement. "Our philosophy can be summed up with the motto 'As you like it,' in which our customers' taste trumps all."
The company added that customers can always choose a salad over a Whopper and have the option to add or remove ingredients as they please.
An official at Burger King's press office in Madrid said the company had no plans to abandon the campaign.
Spain was home to Burger King's first European restaurant_ launched in 1975 in Madrid. In July the company inaugurated its 400th restaurant in Spain, located in the southern city of Seville.
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