McDonald’s apologizes as TV ad accused of exploiting bereaved children

The advert, released Friday, sees a young boy struggle to find a connection with his dead father. (Photo courtesy: McDonald’s)
Updated 17 May 2017
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McDonald’s apologizes as TV ad accused of exploiting bereaved children

DUBAI: McDonald’s UK has apologized for a TV advert that critics are slamming as “inappropriate.”
The advert, released Friday, sees a young boy struggle to find a connection with his dead father before finding out that they both like the same McDonald’s sandwich: Fillet-O-Fish.
The campaign was conceived by London-based advertising agency Leo Burnett and was scheduled to run for seven weeks.
Many complained that they found the clip offensive, to which a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “This was by no means an intention of ours.
“We wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives — both in good and difficult times,” the spokesperson added.
Bereavement charity Grief Encounter told the BBC it had received “countless calls” from families saying their bereaved children had reacted negatively to the advert.
Twitter users shared their thoughts on the campaign.
“Is it me or is the new McDonald’s ad with the mother & son talking about the deceased dad a bit weird ? #McDonald’s #weird #inappropriate,” one user wrote.

Others raised their eyebrows at the advert.
The BBC reported that the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK said it had received complaints regarding the advert and plans to “carefully assess them to see whether there are grounds to investigate.”


Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

Updated 26 April 2018
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Facebook to clearly label political advertising in Britain, CTO says

LONDON: Facebook will introduce new measures to boost transparency around adverts in Britain by June this year and require political ads to be clearly labelled, the firm’s Chief Technology Officer told a British parliamentary committee.
In a written submission to the UK parliament’s media committee, Mike Schroepfer said those wanting to run political adverts would have to complete an authorization process and the messages would also have to display who paid for them.
Facebook has said that the personal information of about 87 million users might have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign.
Lawmakers have also raised concern over the use of social media in Britain’s referendum decision to leave the European Union in 2016.
“I want to start by echoing our CEO, Mark Zuckerberg: what happened with Cambridge Analytica represents a breach of trust, and we are deeply sorry. We made mistakes and we are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Schroepfer wrote.
Earlier this month, Zuckerberg apologized to US senators for issues that have beset Facebook, including shortcomings over data protection.
But the 33-year-old Internet mogul managed to deflect any specific promises to support any congressional regulation of the world’s largest social media network and other US Internet companies.
Schroepfer, who was appearing before the British media committee on Thursday, said it was clear Facebook had not done enough to ensure its tools from “potentially being used for harm” or take a broad enough view of its responsibility.
“That was a mistake,” he wrote.