McDonald’s pulls ‘exploitative’ UK ad featuring boy trying to connect with deceased dad

McDonald’s in the UK has pulled an ad created by Leo Burnett London featuring a boy trying to find a connection with his deceased father, after the fast-food chain was accused of exploiting bereaved children, according to Adweek.

After coverage by multiple outlets including AdWeek and The Guardian, and viewers’ reactions – labelling it “offensive”, “exploitative” and “cynical” – McDonald’s conceded and pulled the ad.

After an earlier apology for the ad, McDonald’s issued a statement confirming it was removing the spot from all media.

“We can confirm today that we have taken the decision to withdraw our ‘Dad’ TV advert,” the statement read according to AdWeek.

“The advert will be removed from all media, including TV and cinema, completely and permanently this week.

“It was never our intention to cause any upset,” the spokesperson added. “We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us—our customers. Due to the lead-times required by some broadcasters, the last advert will air tomorrow, Wednesday 17 May. We will also review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again.”



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