FAST food giant McDonald's has come under fire after it aired an advert that suggested a child could get over the death of a parent just by having a burger.
Campaigners said the commercial "exploited childhood bereavement". While social media have gone to town, saying using death to selling burgers was "shameless" and "offensive".
The campaign is for Macca's British arm and was supposed to run for seven weeks. But there are doubts it will make it that far.
In the advert, a boy asks his mum about his dearly departed dad leading to the pair reminiscing.
The boy asks his mother whether he and his dad had anything in common but as she rolls of a list of traits - from eye colour to being good at soccer - the son appears to have none.
However, when they enter a McDonald's and the son orders a Filet-o-Fish burger, his mum replies, "That was your dad's favourite too."
Equating getting over someone's death with a fish burger has not gone down well.
I genuinely don't think I've ever seen anything as cynical and exploitative as the new @McDonalds advert. Shameless, even by their standards— Jack Alex Turner (@JackAlexTurner) May 12, 2017
Who needs a dad when you can eat a filet o fish? 🙈🔫 that new McDonald's advert is a disgrace #macdonalds— George Robson (@GeorgeDRobson) May 15, 2017
Dr Shelley Gilbert, founder of UK bereavement charity Grief Encounter, was not impressed.
"McDonald's have attempted to speak to their audience via an emotionally driven TV campaign.
"However, what they have done is exploit childhood bereavement as a way to connect with young people and surviving parents alike - unsuccessfully," she told the BBC.
"We fully support children and surviving parents remembering loved ones. But trying to insinuate that a brand can cure all ills with one meal is insensitive and shouldn't be a way to show that a brand recognises 'the big moments in life'."
A spokesman for McDonald's UK said they had no intention to cause upset or offence.
"We wanted to highlight the role McDonald's has played in our customers' everyday lives - both in good and difficult times."
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