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McDonald’s ‘Go Full Summer’ ad cleared of being ‘paedophilic’ and showing ‘disturbing’ shots of kids

McDonald’s has had its ‘Go Full Summer’ commercial cleared by the ad watchdog, despite complaints labelling the ad “offensive”, “sexual”, “inappropriate” and “disturbing”.

When the ‘Go Full Summer’ campaign launched, Mumbrella commenters said the ad was “saddening” and “a disgrace”.

The ad – which features children running on the beach, swimming, climbing trees and enjoying time with their grandparents – was critiqued by a complainant for showing a “very young girl in the light blue shorts climb[ing] the inside of a door, consequently spreading her legs open”.

Another said the ad was “deeply disturbing in its suggestiveness”.

A number of complaints took issue with the relationship that was depicted between the different generations, and said the ad promoted paedophilia.

“It strongly suggests an older man in party mode can dominate very young girls in summer knickers and it will all be great fun. I have never in my life complained about an ad but this is deeply subtle promotion of pedophilia and suggesting it is great for very young girls. In one shot in the middle the older man even has frightening fake teeth but that all is OK as it is all so wonderful later,” another viewer said.

McDonald’s defended the ad and said it was “disappointed” to receive the complaints.

“Children and young people in our advertisements are always portrayed in a dignified and respectful manner that respects the integrity of the young actors involved. These advertisements are not open to obvious misrepresentation by our audiences, and are certainly not encouraging paedophilia or the sexualisation of children.

“This is not an advertisement which should alarm the Advertising Standards Board. If the Board were to uphold the complaint, it would set a precedent that brands cannot use young children to market their children’s swimwear collection, or use any young children in their marketing who are wearing swimwear – no matter how authentic the portrayal of the child is,” McDonald’s said.

The advertising watchdog found the ‘Go Full Summer’ ad wasn’t inappropriate or paedophillic and it didn’t focus on any particular body parts of the children featured in the ad.

“The overall tone is one of innocence and fun and the children are not sexualised.

“There was no suggestion in the advertisement that the man behaves inappropriately towards any of the children at any point,” the Board said.

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