DDB’s sleeping baby McCafe ad cleared of disregarding road safety

DDB’s adaptation of a global McCafe ad has been cleared by the ad watchdog despite multiple complaints claiming the ad broke the law and disregarded road safety.

The ad featured a father continuously driving through the drive-thru to make sure his sleeping baby didn’t wake up, while staff worked frantically to cater to his needs.

Complaints posted to Ad Standards pointed out the driver – who had a young sleeping child in the back of the car – didn’t have two hands on the wheel, used pay pass while driving, failed to stop while going through the drive-thru and hung out the window.

In its defence McDonald’s said the reason the driver is seen continuously looping through the drive-thru is because he doesn’t wan’t to wake the baby.

“The driver is continuously checking his rear view mirror, his surroundings, where he is going and for the majority of the advertisement, has two hands on the wheel.

“It is not questionable whether or not the driver in this advertisement appeared in proper control of the vehicle in all scenarios of the advertisement and did not appear to be driving dangerously or in a manner that may be uncontrolled,” McDonald’s said.

The Ad Standards Board said despite the driver using pay pass to pay for his meal, it doesn’t require him to take his eyes off the road for a long time and this was “a fleeting scene in the advertisement and is not encouraging irresponsible driving habits”.

Despite the complaints, the board dismissed the case arguing Australians would understand the “humour” of the parent’s caution when trying to keep the baby asleep.


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