An Austrian man was wearing a shark mask to advertise the opening of a central Vienna shop. After somebody reported spotting him wearing the mask to the police, the company ended up getting a fine relating to the burqa ban law in the country. Meanwhile, a millionaire activist also received a fine for protesting against that same law on Monday.

McShark shop opening goes wrong over shark mask

According to a post by the company Warda Network on their Facebook page on Friday, the employee was wearing a shark mask to promote their new McShark shop when the police arrived and ordered him to remove the face covering.

They told him this due to the recently introduced burqa ban law in Austria. The company noted in the post that “life isn’t easy” and went on to say they had received a fine for the commercial display outside the new shop.

It turned out a member of the public had seen the employee standing outside the store in full shark regalia and reported him to the police. RT News quotes the company’s managing director, Eugen Prosquill, as saying he didn’t think mascots would be affected by the new burqa ban, saying it would be a shame if businesses could no longer use this type of mascot in their promotions. According to that report even surgical masks, party masks, and off-slope ski masks could be affected by the ban, although apparently, those worn in street carnivals would be acceptable.

Burqa ban passed in Austria in January

According to a report by the BBC, the law was passed in Austria in January by the ruling coalition, prohibiting anyone from wearing full-face veils, such as burqa and niqab, in public spaces, including schools and courts. Authorities are reportedly also looking at a general ban on the wearing of headscarves or other religious symbols by state employees.

The reasoning behind the ban is reportedly an attempt to stop the rise of the Freedom Party, a far-right group, which very nearly won in the December 2016 elections.

Several other European countries have introduced laws banning the full-face burqa, with Austria stressing that under the law people’s faces must be clearly visible from their chin to their hairline.

Halloween probably won’t be fun in Vienna

This has affected not only the McShark man but has also led to any street musicians who wear animal masks as part of their show receiving official warnings under the law. Police have, however, reportedly asked officials to fully clarify the controversial new ruling.

Relating to the ban, an Algerian millionaire reportedly donned a Halloween mask to lead a protest in Vienna on Monday against the new law at the interior ministry offices. When the ruling was made, he also offered to cover any fines received by women facing prosecution for wearing either the burqa or niqab.

As reported by the Washington Post, Rachid Nekkaz wore a black suit, covered in 100 euro notes, along with an orange mask.

He also hung a photo of foreign minister Sebastian Kurz around his neck. According to police, Nekkaz received a 50 euro ($60) fine on Monday. Whether Nekkaz will also cover the fine imposed for the shark mask on the McShark shop under the same law is unknown.