A TV advertisement for McDonald’s that aired in the UK has been pulled after complaints were made regarding its content. The ad focused on a child whose father had died, but the approach used by the fast food giants was seen as exploiting the feelings of children who had faced a similar hardship.
As reported by CNN, the full 90-second television commercial showed a young boy struggling with the loss of his father, leading him to ask his mother numerous questions regarding his dad.
As the mother responded to the questions, it appears as though the father and son don’t have much in common, including different eye color, general physical appearance, and personal interests.
As the ad progresses, the mother and son end up at a McDonald’s restaurant. The boy orders a Filet-O-Fish sandwich and, after witnessing the order, the mother says, “That was your dad’s favorite too.”
Over 150 people issued complaints regarding the ad to the UK Advertising Standards Authority, suggesting that McDonald’s was taking advantage of children who may be grieving.
Based on information provided by Matt Wilson, a press officer working for the UK Advertising Standards Authority, the agency will be investigating the matter. He said, “Complaints have objected that it is inappropriate and insensitive to use bereavement and grief to sell fast food.”
Others aired their issue with the commercial over social media. Cate Wilson, a Twitter user, posted “I am sickened and disgusted by this advert. Lost my dad at nine. Memories? Yes. Burger? No! Shameful ad McDonald’s.”
The restaurant chain has apologized for commercial, requesting broadcast stations remove the ad from their rotation.
In a statement, McDonald’s said, “It was never our intention to cause any upset.” They continued, “We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to use — our customers.”