McDonald’s is apologizing for an advertisement that ran in the UK that related a menu item to a boy’s loss of his father.
BBC News reported that, in the ad, a preteen boy asks his mother about his father and what he was like. As she describes him while the two are on a walk, the boy realizes he's not much like him -- until the they go into a McDonald's.
The boy orders a Filet-o-Fish and his mother says, “That was your dad's favorite too.”
CNN reported that the ad received complaints from more than 150 people to the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority.
"Complainants have objected that it is inappropriate and insensitive to use bereavement and grief to sell fast food. Some complainants have referenced the proximity to Father's Day," a spokesman for the ASA told The Guardian Tuesday. "We're carefully assessing the complaints but no decision has been reached on whether there are grounds to launch an investigation."
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Those complaints, as well as some on Twitter, claimed that the ad, from London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett, was in bad taste.
According to USA Today, the ad, which first started running May 12, was supposed to tun for seven weeks. It has been pulled.
“We can confirm today that we have taken the decision to withdraw our ‘Dad’ TV advert,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman said in a Tuesday statement. “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. We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us: our customers.”
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McDonald's is far from the first brand to be criticized for an ad. In April, hair product company Shea Moisture was under fire for appearing to abandon it's consumer base of black women with naturally curly and coily hair with a campaign that showed mostly white women discussing hair hate.
Earlier that same month, Pepsi and Kendall Jenner were slammed on social media for an ad considered by some to be tone deaf toward protests.
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