McDonald’s AU has been forced to pull a TV ad created by DDB Sydney after Ad Standards found it breached responsible fast food advertising standards.
McDonald’s is a member of a responsible fast food advertising initiative and has previously agreed to not advertise to children under the age of 14 years across some media unless it features a healthier option.
The ad, which was released in early February, was pulled up by the Obesity Policy Coalition who complained the ad marketed ‘high fat, salt, and sugar’ meals to children.
Jane Martin from the OPC said: “McDonald’s may claim that the themes of family togetherness and children being cheeky are designed to appeal broadly to adults as well as children.
“Yet the entire ad is from the perspective of a child,’ Jane Martin from the OPC said.
The OPC also complained that the child is rewarded with a trip to McDonald’s was a tactic used by the fast-food company and was aimed at children, while at the same time not advertising healthier options on the menu.
The Advertising Standards Community Panel upheld the complaint, finding the ad did not feature healthier options, with a burger and chips being the food represented in the ad.
The panel also found the ad was targeted to children not because of the content but due to the fact it was played in spots, like TV, where children represent over 35 per cent of the audience.
The spot has been pulled from TV, but can still be found on online.
At the time of the ad’s release, McDonald’s Australia, Marketing Director, Jo Feeney said: “In this new spot, we’re shining a light on the love that Aussie families have for a trip to Macca’s. The appeal of a trip to Macca’s with the family is brought to life through the actions of one cheeky girl and familiar scenes of life at home. Denise is the latest TVC in our year-long brand campaign and continues the narrative that no matter who you are, where you are or what you do, Macca’s will be there for you and your family.”
DDB Sydney, Creative Partner, David Joubert commented: “I speak from experience when I say that anyone who has kids will relate with fondness and familiarity to this story. Especially the lengths that our young girl goes to to undo her mischevious acts. It’s an amusing new addition to our ongoing campaign, celebrating everyday Aussie life and the role we play in it.”
DDB Sydney declined B&T‘s request for comment, while McDonald’s did not reply to B&T‘s request at the time of publication.