McDonald's Sorry for Using Grieving Kid to Sell Filet-O-Fish

Ad has been pulled after outcry
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 5:29 PM CDT
Updated May 17, 2017 2:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – McDonald's is apologizing after one of its commercials that aired in the UK caused an uproar for exploiting childhood grief. The ad shows a young boy asking his mom to describe his late father, and being disappointed at every turn when he doesn't see any similarities between himself and his dad. That is, until he's eating with his mom at a McDonald's and his mom mentions that he and his dad share the same favorite McDonald's food item, a Filet-O-Fish. If the first word that comes to mind isn't "touching" or "moving," you're not alone. Fortune rounds up the appalled Twitter reactions, with users calling the ad "vulgar" and "trashy beyond belief." McDonald's UK is replying to a host of complaints on Twitter.

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In a statement, the company responded by apologizing for the "upset" it caused, saying that was not its intention and, per a spokesperson, "we wanted to highlight the role McDonald's has played in our customers' everyday lives—both in good and difficult times." The BBC reports that a UK bereavement charity says it has received numerous calls from parents of actually bereaved children, who say their kids were upset by the commercial. One critic notes it's particularly upsetting that the ad features no advice for parents and children dealing with the loss of a loved one: "What are children supposed to think after watching it? That a simple meal can solve their emotional pain?" McDonald's says it will pull the ad, but that it may still air through Wednesday, Metro reports. (Read more McDonald's stories.)

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