McDonald’s Ad Yanked from The Air


Megan Geller

McDonald’s recently released an advertisement in the UK for their famous Filet-O-Fish sandwich that involved a son who did not know his father, because he either passed away before the son was born, or passed away when the son was too young to remember. After going through his father’s belongings, the boy asks his mother what his father was like and the mother begins to tell her son about his father. The boy asks questions about the father, as he and his mother walk. He discovers that, according to these questions, he was not much like his father.

After the mother and son arrived at a McDonald’s and ordered lunch, the son reached to take a bite of his Filet-O-Fish sandwich when his mother told him that that was his father’s favorite sandwich too. She also told her son that he always got some of the tartar sauce on his chin, and at that moment the boy realized he had tartar sauce there, as well. This shows the boy that he and his father did have something in common.

This advertisement was met with criticism. Many felt that McDonald’s was insensitive in creating this advertisement towards grieving children. Many tweets targeted the fact that this boy lost his father, but the sandwich made everything alright. They also criticized McDonald’s for using such a sensitive topic to sell more sandwiches.

On May 7, 2017, the Hitching Post published an article about a Pepsi advertisement receiving backlash for showing Kendall Jenner leaving a photo shoot to join a glamorized protest filled with smiles, food, and music. She gave a police officer a can of Pepsi and cheered with the crowd as he drank the soda. Pepsi received backlash for making it seem like the ad “achieved world peace” and “solved the Black Lives Matter protest.” Pepsi proceeded to remove the commercial.

At this point, McDonald’s has been put in the same position. Due to criticism, they have been forced to remove an advertisement from the air. McDonald’s reported to CNN that, “It was never [their] intention to cause any upset.” CNN also noted that because more than 150 consumers have complained about the commercial, McDonald’s could have further repercussions through the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority.

Although this dilemma took place in the UK, being that Pepsi has gone through a similar dilemma recently in the United States, it is still important to be up to date on advertisements and how they impact the public.