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.”


Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

Updated 19 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia ‘has a case’ in complaint over World Cup ‘politicization’ by Qatar’s BeIN

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has a justified case in complaining to FIFA over the “politicization” of the World Cup by the Qatari broadcaster BeIN Sports, a prominent TV analyst has said.
A flurry of comments by hosts and pundits aired on BeIN’s Arabic station prompted the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to complain to FIFA this week, saying the broadcaster was using the football tournament to spread political messages aimed at insulting Saudi Arabia and its leaders.
In its complaint, the federation called on FIFA to take severe sanctions against the Qatari channel and to abolish the rights granted to the network.
One BeIN commentator accused Saudi Arabia of “selling out the Palestinian cause,” while a Doha-based international footballer invited on the channel was allowed to call for an end to the year-long boycott of Qatar by neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
Constantinos Papavassilopoulos, principal TV research analyst at IHS Markit Technology, said that politicized coverage was expressly forbidden by world football’s governing body as well as the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
“FIFA and UEFA forbid the transmission of political messages during football matches for which they control the rights. It’s not only comments by the broadcasters — but even banners; everything (political) is forbidden,” the analyst told Arab News.
“So messages about Palestine, about political things, are not allowed.”
Papavassilopoulos said that if there is evidence of such cases, authorities in the Kingdom would be justified in taking the matter to FIFA.
“If there are video clips that show BeIN media personnel speaking against Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has a case,” he said.
But whether FIFA will take any action against BeIN is another matter. Papavassilopoulos pointed to the fact that BeIN is a valued client of FIFA — it bought the rights to host the World Cup across the Middle East and North Africa — and that Qatar plans to host the tournament in 2022.
“BeIN media is a very good client for FIFA. And don’t forget that Qatar is the country that will host the 2022 World Cup,” he said. “It’s going to be very very hard for FIFA to impose penalties on BeIN media knowing that Qatar will hold the next World Cup.”
Some of the biggest names in Arab sport have signed a petition to protest against BeIN’s politicization of World Cup coverage, urging FIFA President Gianni Infantino to investigate the coverage.
FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Arab News.