Food giant Ülker says legal action taken as April 1 ad stirs panic
ISTANBULÜlker has said legal action was immediately taken to protect the company and the brand against every party involved in an April Fools’ Day-themed commercial, which went wrong and created panic among some circles over accusations that it heralded the July 2016 military coup attempt.
“Regarding one of our recent commercial campaigns; it was hacked through manipulating scenes and messages on digital platforms and subsequently taken out of context through the addition of texts and visuals on social media. As a result, legal action has been immediately taken to protect our company and brand against every party involved in this misconduct,” the company said in a written statement to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on April 3.
The company’s shares fell as much as 4 percent early on April 3.
The April Fools’ Day ad by Turkey’s largest food company triggered panic on social media. The commercial was broadcast online on March 31 and describes the bad sides of being a younger sibling and says “time for revenge” is near.
Crowds gathered outside President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s house in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district early on April 1 to protest against the advertisement, which demonstrators claimed contained “pro-coup” themes.
AKP Istanbul deputy Metin Külünk also attended the protest, praising the “sensitivity of the people” over the issue.
“The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the advertisement,” Külünk said, adding that the Istanbul police chief informed him over the phone that “nothing out of the ordinary” had taken place in the city.
Yıldız Holding chair Murat Ülker has said the misunderstanding over the commercial was the result of a “conspiracy.”