McDonald’s Remove Controversial ‘Dad’ Advert After Online Backlash

The clip has been criticised for exploiting child bereavement.

McDonald's controversial advert
McDonald's The controversial advert Image McDonald's

McDonald’s has removed a controversial new advert, after it was criticised for exploiting child bereavement.

The advert sees a son ask his mother questions about his late father, and the son doesn’t appear to share many of his characteristics.

However, the pair then walk into a chain of McDonald’s, and the son orders a Filet-o-Fish. As he’s tucking into his meal, his mother says: “That was your dad’s favourite, too.”

The advert has been heavily criticised since first airing last week, with social media users calling the clip ‘offensive’ and ‘in bad taste’, and McDonald’s has now taken the decision to pull the footage.

The Advertising Standards Authority has revealed that it had received around 100 complains about the advert.

“Complainants have objected that it is inappropriate and insensitive to use bereavement and grief to sell fast food. Some complainants have referenced the proximity to Father’s Day,” it said in a statement.

“We’re carefully assessing the complaints but no decision has been reached on whether there are grounds to launch an investigation.”

The clip was heavily criticised by some social media users, with some calling out the clip for being ‘offensive’ and ‘disgusting’.

However, some found the advert to be ‘touching’ and ‘sweet’, and thought the decision to pull it was an over-reaction.

“We can confirm today that we have taken the decision to withdraw our ‘Dad’ TV advert. The advert will be removed from all media, including TV and cinema, completely and permanently this week,” a McDonald’s spokesperson told The Guardian.

“It was never our intention to cause any upset. We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us: our customers.”

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.