McDonalds has been forced to pull an ad campaign after thousands of complaints were lodged with OFCOM and the ASA.
The advert, which in our honest opinion we believe was written without malice or intent to upset unfortunately was vilified on social media after the final cut essentially made out that a Fillet-O-Fish was going to make the world alright again.
Parents of children who have lost a father were (quite rightly) upset by the aftermath and the fallout of the advert, with many young children who viewed the ad confused and asking questions like ‘Why is the boy not sad? When will I be happy again?
Other adult viewers said that they too were affected by the ad due to their own bereavement when they were younger.
The ad, which was created by a London based firm, is confirmed to be withdrawn with immediate effect and McDonalds have apologized profusely for their lack of judgement.
That said many people have pointed out that there is no mention of the father’s death, and it is more than plausible that he could have moved away, or that he’s in the military and posted abroad. So although the McDonalds advert is in poor taste, and is exploiting Childs feelings to flog a few burgers, it doesn’t mention any back story and it’s clear for all to see that the boy doesn’t even remember much about his father.
That said, the advert should have at least had some purpose, and we think donating to a children’s charity that deals with grief and separation would have made the ad not only more acceptable, but would actually have given it purpose other than letting the whole world know that his father eats his fillet-o-fish in the same way and it was his favorite.
The exec behind the ad did point out the bereavement is a hard subject to broach in the media, and they are going to re-evaluate their pitches as they did not want to offend (which we personally whole heartedly think to be genuine).
However, unfortunately death is a part of life, similar to heart break, and we all deal with and cope with it in our own ways, and something that this advert did capture, is the bond between father and son and how for some very strange reason, sons always end up with similar tastes as their fathers.
We don’t believe the advert was deliberately offensive, but was poorly executed and poorly cut, and the distinct lack of at least offering the numbers of support lines to people that could have been affected was a bad idea.
If the ad had been geared more towards the promotion of these family help services, it would have been a roaring success for people would see that McDonalds were doing some good instead; the ad looks like they’re trying to cash in on a child’s hurt and anguish to sell you a jumbo sized fish finger sandwich with tartare sauce.