Death ad backlash: McDonald’s forced to apologize after ad shows boy grieving dead father

Death ad backlash: McDonald’s forced to apologize after ad shows boy grieving dead father
McDonald’s has apologized after its latest TV advert featuring a young boy trying to come to terms with the death of his father sparked a huge furor online.

The British ad promoting the fast food giant’s fish burger shows a mother and son discussing the boy’s late father as the child struggles to find something in common with his dad.

As the pair sit down to eat at McDonald’s, the mother tells the boy that his father had the same favorite meal – Filet-O-Fish.

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Viewers have slammed the TV commercial as “exploitative” and “disgusting,” with some calling it a new low for the fast-food brand.


Others wrote that it brought back memories of their own parental loss and criticized it for its insensitivity and crass use of bereavement.

McDonald’s UK apologized for any upset caused and stated that it was reviewing customer feedback.

The UK Advertising Standards Authority confirmed it had received complaints about the ad and was assessing if there were grounds for investigation.

The ad was created by Leo Burnett London, an agency that has worked on campaigns for the company for over 20 years.

The advertising agency said in a statement upon the release of the ad that it was aimed at 20- to 44-year-olds and was trying to “generate affinity with the brand by reminding the audience what they love about McDonald’s.”

“In serving over 3 million people daily, a lot of human stories pass through McDonald’s doors every day.

“As we all know, life isn’t perfect, and life can be challenging. Hopefully this heartfelt story reflects that with the poignancy it deserves,” said Peter Heyes, creative director at Leo Burnett.

It appears some people connected with the ad in the way Leo Burnett hoped, describing it as “emotional.”

The campaign first aired on British TV on May 12 and was scheduled to run for seven weeks.

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