McDonald's pulls controversial 'dad' film after backlash--and vows to learn lessons

Be the first to comment

McDonald's UK is withdrawing a controversial new film that depicts a young boy grieving for his late father, and said it will "review" its creative process "to ensure this situation never occurs again."

The 90-second video shows a young boy dealing with his bereavement. The boy asks his mother what his dad was like, and after a series of anecdotes, the pair enter McDonald's, where it is revealed that the son and father both shared a love of the chain's Filet-O-Fish.

The film received much criticism after it debuted on Monday evening, with accusations that it was insensitive and exploitative.

A statement released on Tuesday afternoon by McDonald's said: "We can confirm today that we have taken the decision to withdraw our 'Dad' TV advert. 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.

"Due to the lead-times required by some broadcasters, the last advert will air tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17. We will also review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again."

The fast food company had earlier apologized "for any upset this advert has caused" early today, saying: "This was by no means an intention of ours and we regret some have interpreted it in a negative way."

View the film, by creative agency Leo Burnett London, below:

This story first appeared in PR Week.