Burger King uses mouldy Whopper to promote its signature product

Burger King is using a mouldy Whopper in its new advertising campaign for its signature burger.

The television ads - running in Europe and the US - begin with someone making a fresh burger to the sound of Dinah Washington's song What Difference A Day Makes, and then uses a time-lapse showing it rotting over 34 days.

The fast food chain says the campaign is highlighting its decision to remove artificial preservatives from the product.

In a tweet , Burger King said: "The beauty of real food is that it gets ugly."

The Whopper is topped with onions, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and pickles, all of which will contain no artificial preservatives.

The firm, based in Miami, Florida, said it has removed them from the Whopper in several European countries - including France, Sweden and Spain - and around 400 of its 7,346 US restaurants.

It plans to get rid of preservatives from the burger served in all of its restaurants this year.

By the end of 2020, it said all food items - including sandwiches, sides and desserts - will be free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives in the US and select European countries, including Germany and the UK.

The adverts have received a mixed response on social media.

One Twitter user said: "I was going to get BK today for lunch, I am earnestly not now because this made it look disgusting. I just saw a whopper commercial on TV, now this undid that. Free advice- delete this tweet."

But another disagreed, saying: "What an amazing way to showcase your new product! Really smart and fearless. Things do rot naturally."

McDonald's announced in 2018 that it was removing artificial colours, flavours and preservatives from seven of its burgers.