Good intentions went awry this week, as McDonald’s pulled a recent a commercial in the U.K. following well-placed criticism that it was exploitative.
The ad in question tackles a sensitive topic. In the spot, a son talks to his mom about what his now deceased dad was like. He tries on his glasses and asks questions about his personality. The mom, tells the young boy his dad was different from him: He had brown eyes, not blue, and was a star soccer player, unlike the boy who can’t kick a ball.
Unfortunately, McDonald’s uses the differences to advertise the Filet O’Fish sandwich, as it turns out it’s the one thing the two seem to have in common.
To the surprise of no one, people didn’t like the ad’s message.
New #McDonalds advert, cynically using the story of a kid's dead dad is trashy beyond belief. Who needs 2 parents when you have McNuggets?
— Tony Richman (@TonyLRichman) May 12, 2017
The new McDonald's ad is worse than the Pepsi ad
How can someone think it's a good idea to use a tragedy to promote a fucking burger
— Red Raves (@RedRavee) May 17, 2017
Now, this would be quite touching if it wasn’t an advertisement. However, using a boy’s longing to know his dad to sell fish burger’s is messed-up, to say the least.
McDonald’s eventually realized their mistake and apologized and remove the ad.
“We can confirm today that we have taken the decision to withdraw our ‘Dad’ TV advert,” the statement read. “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.”
I don’t think the ad is poorly made. However, it shouldn’t have been used as a vehicle to sell fish sandwiches. McDonald’s should know better.