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’.
I am sickened and disgusted by this advert. Lost my dad at 9. Memories? Yes .Burger? No! Shameful ad #McDonalds
— Cate Wilson (@Cate43) May 12, 2017
Current @McDonaldsUK ad is a disgrace. All about a kid whos dad has died but don't worry he's happy because he's taken to McDonalds. Ban it
— Dan (@1974db) May 13, 2017
Saw *that* McDonalds ad for the first time last night. It made me feel a bit sick tbh, and not just cos it's McDonalds.
— Emmack (@emmack88) May 17, 2017
I'm so glad McDonalds axed its recent ad with the mum and son talking about his dad passing away and how much he loved mcd's 😒
— Sophie Wild (@nosuchbudget) May 17, 2017
— whisperycat (@whisperycat) May 12, 2017
However, some found the advert to be ‘touching’ and ‘sweet’, and thought the decision to pull it was an over-reaction.
— Tracy Titterton (@TittersTracy) May 17, 2017
that McDonalds ad is hardy controversial
you just can't do anything these days without people complaining
— Zak init (@ZakyyBoyy) May 17, 2017
— Lindsay Hedmann (@Rsclinz) May 16, 2017
“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.”