International round-up: Burger King trolls McDonald’s, Apple’s diversity chief speaks out

Plus Wal-mart looks to take on Amazon by cutting costs and opening less stores and Puma pushes same sex marriage equality in Australia.

Burger King trolls McDonald’s with cinema stunt

Stephen King’s cult classic ‘It’ returned to our cinema screens earlier this summer, showing a killer clown wreaking havoc by murdering innocent children and generally making people leave the venue terrified of clowns.

Burger King was eager to capitalise on this cultural moment, and decided it could turn the film into its “longest ad ever”. The execution was simple – right before the end credits, it used two powerful spotlights to inform German viewers “The moral is … never trust a clown”, before unveiling its own logo. Thereby cleverly taking a swipe at McDonald’s famous brand icon, Ronald McDonald.

READ MORE: Burger King Rides the ‘It’ Wave and Advises, ‘Never Trust a Clown’

Wal-mart battles Amazon by opening less stores

Most retailers know; you either evolve with the times or wait for Amazon to crush you. US retailer Wal-Mart certainly isn’t eager to hang back and find out, and so it has revealed new plans to grow its digital business.

Instead of opening new stores, the retailer will look to cut costs by remodelling existing stores and “incorporating digital experiences”. Wal-Mart says it expects its US e-commerce business to grow sales by roughly 40% in fiscal 2019.

“We have good momentum in the business, we’re executing our strategy and moving with speed to win with the customer, who is more connected than ever and embracing tools that will save them both time and money,” CEO Doug McMillon said.

“We’re combining the accessibility of our stores with e-commerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop.”

READ MORE: Wal-Mart calls for 40 percent e-commerce sales growth in fiscal 2019

Apple’s VP of diversity causes controversy after speaking out for the first time

Denise Young Smith has only been in her role at Apple for a couple of months. She is the company’s first vice president of diversity and inclusion, and is eager to improve Apple’s diversity figures and ensuring its hiring practices are open and inclusive.

Young Smith spoke about her role for the first time on a panel at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia.

When asked whether she would be focusing on any group of people, such as black women, in her efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse Apple, Young Smith said: “I focus on everyone.” She added: “Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of colour, or the women, or the LGBT.” Her answer was met with a round of applause at the session.

Young Smith went on to add that “there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.”

Her comments have caused a bit of a Twitter storm, with some disappointed in her belief that a team of 12 white blue-eyed men could be diverse too.

READ MORE: Apple’s first ever VP of diversity and inclusion says she focuses on everyone, not just minorities

Puma pushes same sex marriage equality in Australia

Australia is in the midst of voting on whether same sex couples should be allowed to get married, and brands are starting to get politically involved.

Puma has unveiled a campaign showing off ‘the Equality Knot’ – a new way of threading laces through a shoe to show support for marriage equality.

For the #LetUsAllTieTheKnot campaign, Puma has also created a website with instructions on how to tie The Equality Knot. The sportswear brand is also releasing 5,000 free limited-edition shoelaces in the colours of the rainbow pride flag.

“Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, you should be allowed to marry the person you love. But if you live in Australia, you don’t have this right,” the website states.

READ MORE: Puma launches #LetUsAllTieTheKnot marriage equality campaign

McDonald’s goes vegan for the first time

tähän on tultu: syön mäkissä vegaaniburgerii! #mcvegan #whatveganseat #sipsikaljavegaani #vegaani #whatfatveganseat #veganjunkfood

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀minna roininen (@minnabae) on

McDonald’s is known for adapting its menus to local tastes – from bacon rolls in the UK to seaweed fries in Asian markets.

The fast food giant has now decided to respond to a growing number of consumers cutting out animal products by launching its first ever vegan burger in Scandinavia.

You will be able to find the ‘McVegan’, made up of a soy-based patty, in Finland for a whole month. The chain already offers some vegetarian burger options internationally, in countries including Germany and India.

Vegan consumers in other markets eager to get their hands on the burger should not get their hopes up just yet; a brand representative told Today that the company does not have any plans to sell the McVegan outside of Finland.

READ MORE: McDonald’s Is Testing Out A Vegan Burger

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