Bad Taste: McDonald's ad accused of exploiting bereavement

A new TV spot has upset viewers...

Bad Taste: McDonald's ad accused of exploiting bereavement

McDonald's

Fast food giant McDonald's has been accused of "exploiting child bereavement" after airing an ad in which a grieving young boy finds solace in a Filet-o-Fish.

It features a child asking his mother a series of questions about his deceased father. It seems that he's the total opposite of his dad until in the final moments of the 90-second advertisement, when the mother tells the child, "That was your dad’s favourite too," as he tucks into his burger.

"We have already received countless phone calls this morning, with parents telling us their bereaved children have been upset by the advert and alienated by McDonald’s as a brand that wants to emotionally manipulate its customers," Dr Shelley Gilbert, head of the British children’s bereavement charity Grief Encounter said.

"What [they] have done is exploited childhood bereavement as a way to connect with young people and surviving parents alike, unsuccessfully," she continued, adding that the campaign will "resonate with a huge number of children and surviving parents."

Commenting on these accusations, the company told the BBC that it did not intend to offend anyone, adding, "We wanted to highlight the role McDonald's has played in our customers' everyday lives - both in good and difficult times."

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has also received a series of complaints and that it will "carefully assess them to see whether there are grounds to investigate."