McDonald’s apologized for his recent “offensive” TV ad which charity activists have considered that it “exploits childhood bereavement.”

McDonald’s British ad features a little boy’s struggle into finding something in similar with his deceased father. At the end of the ad, the audience finds out that the boy and his father share one of the menu items.

The Ad content

At first, the boy asks his mother about his dead father. Then. The boy searches for something in common between him and his dad. He later goes to McDonald’s and orders a Filet-o-Fish sandwich, that’s when his mum says: “That was your dad’s favourite too.”

Many widows criticized the campaign as they described it as an “offensive” ad.

In light of criticism, McDonald’s spokesperson commented: “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 continued.

Leo Burnett agency which is based in London is the one responsible for Mcdonald’s campaign. The ad was featured on TV on 12 May and they planned to air it for seven weeks.

The ad’s criticism

Shortly after airing the ad, Bereavement charity, Grief Encounter stated that they received “countless calls” from parents who complained their bereaved kids were upset by the ad.

Sarah Fox, whose husband has died two years ago said that her son, 7, saw the ad on TV after he had just begun to understand his father’s loss.

“The advert was confusing for him and really upset him. He asked me why the boy on TV wasn’t ‘sad’ and how he could feel happy again?” she said. “It’s an unnecessary subject to exploit for the gain of a brand.”

Another woman who saw the ad also criticized it. 44-year-old Tania Richman, from Brighton, East Sussex, whose husband died last year, said that her teenage kids were also “upset and offended” by McDonalds’s ad.

“I didn’t know how to handle them afterwards,” she commented.