McDonald’s drops World Cup ad following dog attack on girl

McDonald’s has pulled a TV ad showing a dog attacking England footballer Rio Ferdinand, following last week’s mauling of a child by a neighbour’s dogs.

The move is understood to be the first time the fast-food chain has withdrawn an ad and coincides with complaints to the Independent Television Commission (ITC).

The ad, part of the company’s FIFA World Cup campaign created by Leo Burnett, first aired on May 15, but was dropped two days later. A McDonald’s spokeswoman confirms the decision.

The ITC has received six complaints about the ad, all directly referring to last week’s attack. The victim, five-year-old Leah Preston, is still undergoing surgery at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital.

In the pulled ad, a woman who draws an “Italy” card in the promotion – meaning she needs Italy to win the World Cup in order to stand a chance of winning a holiday – sets her bull terrier on England star Rio Ferdinand in the park, to improve Italy’s chances.

The McDonald’s spokeswoman denies the ad would have been in bad taste even without the dog attack. She says: “It was very tongue in cheek, very slapstick humour.”

Another ad, featuring a mechanic sabotaging the brakes on Teddy Sheringham’s car, will continue to run.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here