McDonald’s pulls ‘exploited child bereavement’ ad after series of complaints

The ad sees a young boy asking his mother about his deceased father.

McDonald’s have pulled their latest advert after a series of complaints arguing that the commercial takes advantage of child bereavement.

The advert sees a young boy asking his mother what his deceased father was like. His mother lists a series of attributes which sees the boy becomes sad, seemingly thinking he has nothing in common with his father.

Once they arrive at McDonald’s the boy begins to eat a Filet-O-Fish.“That was your dad’s favourite too,” his mother comments which sees the boy’s face light up – glad to find something in common with his dad. You can see the full advert below.


The advert was first screened last week and by Monday, The Advertising Standards said it already received 100 complaints. A spokesman told The Guardian: “Complainants have objected that it is inappropriate and insensitive to use bereavement and grief to sell fast food. Some complainants have referenced the proximity to Father’s Day.

“We’re carefully assessing the complaints but no decision has been reached on whether there are grounds to launch an investigation.”

Some also took to Twitter to vent their frustrations with the advert. “I lost my father when I was a child and I find the latest McDonald’s advert disgusting and offensive. Shame on you!” one user wrote. Another added, “I am sickened and disgusted by this advert. Lost my dad at 9. Memories? Yes .Burger? No! Shameful ad”


Other users defended the ad, with Fathers4Justice writing: “In a nation of #McDads where 3m kids live in fatherless homes at least #McDonalds advert portrays dads in a positive light #Fathers4Justice.” Another user wrote: “I feel favourably to @McDonalds for telling a story that resonates with me. They just told it badly.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman 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.”