Protests mount against Miami-based Burger King

Protests mount against Burger King’s plan to base its corporate parent in Canada.

08/29/2014 4:41 PM

08/29/2014 4:43 PM

The backlash against Burger King continues.

Kidecals, a Boulder, Colo.-based label company, has created a line of anti-Burger King bumper stickers in protest against the Home of the Whopper’s plans to merge with the Canadian chain Tim Hortons and locate the parent corporation in Toronto. Proceeds from the sale of the $5 bumper stickers will be donated to the Internal Revenue Service “to help compensate for the tax money lost by Burger King’s corporate move,” Kidecals said.

The stickers have sayings like “I only eat tax-abiding burgers,” “Burglar King” and “Bon Voyage Whopper, we won’t miss you.”

Burger King said Tuesday it will buy Tim Hortons in an $11 billion deal that will create the world’s third largest fast-food chain. The two companies will continue to operate independently, and though the corporate parent will be based in Canada, Burger King said it will continue to be headquartered in Miami.

Still, an uprising has been underway since the deal was announced earlier this week, with the Kidecals campaign as the latest wrinkle.

Burger King has decided to have it their way and move their headquarters to Canada. This shady move will allow them to avoid paying their fair share of corporate income tax,” Kidecals says on its website, at www.kidecals.com/burgerbash. “ You know what? Bon Voyage Burger King…Canada can have you. And why don’t you go ahead and grab Justin Bieber on your way out. We don’t need no ....Whopper!”

The stickers went on sale online Wednesday night. So far, 107 have been sold.

They are the first “playful activist” stickers for sale by privately owned Kidecals, which specializes in custom name labels for kids, wall decals, bumper stickers and computer keyboard stickers, said Kidecals owner Hilary Chandler.

“We like to have that snarky, funny, mom tone, so we like the moms that shop with us to be amused and have fun,” said Chandler, an artist and mom who founded the company seven years ago.

“It’s poking fun about an issue that is serious and will affect us all,” she said. “We can make something and throw it out there and put the word out there with our product and our creativity.”

Also in protest, MoveOn.org has issued an online petition urging a boycott of Burger King. The petition had already garnered 90,292 signatures by late Friday afternoon.

“Burger King's sinister plan is to relocate their corporate headquarters to Ontario, Canada, thereby dodging their American taxes in a calculated move called ‘tax inversion,’” MoveOn.org’s petition reads. “Burger King's largest shareholder, a private equity firm called 3G Capital, will win and the American people will lose. Again. Unless we stop them.”

Burger King’s top executives have stressed that the deal wasn’t driven by a desire for lower tax rates, but about growth and creating value through accelerated expansion. Daniel Schwartz, Burger King’s chief executive, said during a conference call with analysts earlier this week that the company doesn’t expect to achieve any “meaningful tax savings or meaningful changes in our tax rate.” In fact, the company’s effective tax rate in the United States is 27 percent, and in Canada, it will be about 26 percent, the company said.

“The decision to create a new global [quick service restaurant] leader with Tim Hortons is not tax-driven — it’s about global growth for both brands. BKC will continue to pay all of our federal, state and local U.S. taxes,” Burger King said in a statement. “We’re proud of the heritage of Burger King and will maintain our long-standing commitment to our employees, franchisees and the local communities we serve. The WHOPPER isn’t going anywhere.”

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