McDonald’s has apologised after offended viewers complained that its latest television advert exploited childhood bereavement.
The fast food giant’s ad showed a boy talking to his mother about his deceased father as he tried to find something in common with him.
As they arrive at a McDonald’s restaurant and he orders a Filet-o-Fish, the mother says: “That was your dad’s favourite too.”
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Viewers expressed disgust at the advert on social media.
— The Midgers (@midgersbtfc06) 14 May 2017
— Scott Manson (@Chimp_83) 15 May 2017
Who needs a dad when you can eat a filet o fish? 🙈🔫 that new McDonald’s advert is a disgrace #macdonalds
— George Robson (@GeorgeDRobson) 15 May 2017
— Steve Buckell (@SteveBuckell) 14 May 2017
“Not one to be easily offended, but new McDonalds advert is cynical exploitation of a deeply emotional situation for brand promotion,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “I lost my father when I was a child and I find the latest McDonald’s advert disgusting and offensive. Shame on you!”
The Advertising Standards Authority said it had received complaints about the advert, and would “carefully assess them to see whether there are grounds to investigate”, the BBC reported.
Dr Shelley Gilbert, founder of Grief Encounter, said the bereavement charity had received “numerous complaints”.
“What they have done is exploited childhood bereavement as a way to connect with young people and surviving parents alike – unsuccessfully,” she told the Daily Mail.
A McDonald’s spokesperson told the BBC: “This was by no means an intention of ours.
“We wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives – both in good and difficult times,” the spokesperson added.