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Costa Rica pulls 'violent' Burger King TV ads

Sunday, April 6, 2008

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- The Burger King is safe, at least in Costa Rica.

Government officials said Friday they have banned commercials for the hamburger chain that depict mothers trying to run over company's plastic-headed signature character or hire a hit man to kill him because their children prefer burgers to home-cooked meals.

The vice minister of the interior, Ana Duran, said the commercials on national TV trivialized violence.

The Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion on Friday published a letter from a mother asking how she was supposed to explain to her 5-year-old son why somebody was trying to kill the Burger King.

"It's outrageous that companies like Burger King make commercials using the promotion of killings in this country," the woman, Ingrid Moya Aguilar, wrote.

Miami-based Burger King Holdings Inc. sent a statement to The Associated Press saying company officials have not been notified of the action by the Costa Rican government, but that Burger King is sensitive to cultural and geographic concerns wherever it operates.

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