McDonald’s pulls controversial ‘dad’ ad

mcdonalds advert

McDonald’s has pulled its new TV ad and apologised for any upset caused after it was accused of exploiting child bereavement, Sky reports.

The “Dad” ad, which shows a boy talking with his mother about his late father, will be “removed from all media, including TV and cinema, completely and permanently this week”, the company said.

“It was never our intention to cause any upset,” said a company spokeswoman.

“We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us, our customers.”

The ad shows the boy thinking about his father and wondering with his mother what he had in common with him.

As they sit in a McDonald’s restaurant and the boy prepares to eat a Filet-o-Fish, the mother says: “That was your dad’s favourite too.”

The ad received widespread criticism on social media, while the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said viewers had complained that it was inappropriate and insensitive.

ASA said it had received some 100 complaints as of Monday.

Bereavement charity Grief Encounter also said it had received “countless calls” from parents saying their bereaved children had been upset by the ad.

Dr Shelley Gilbert, founder and president of the charity, said that “trying to insinuate that a brand can cure all ills with one meal is insensitive”.

“We are pleased that McDonald’s has listened to the viewing public and withdrawn the campaign,” she said.

“The fact that we have been able to bring children’s grief awareness and the importance of not trivialising such a vulnerable section of society is important in itself, and we can see how the brand were trying to speak to people on an emotional level.

“However, of course, they did go about this all the wrong way.”

The ad, by London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett, had been originally scheduled to run for seven weeks. The last ad will be shown on Wednesday.

Last month, Pepsi was forced to pull an ad that was criticised for appearing to trivialise the BlackLivesMatter movement and other protests for social justice causes.