ITC clears McDonald’s ad

McDonald’s has escaped another rap from the television watchdog for its latest ad, which attracted 103 complaints from people who thought it was offensive.

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) did not uphold the complaints about the ad, which featured a young boy playing off his estranged parents to ensure he receives two McDonald’s meals.

Complainants said the campaign, created by Leo Burnett, made light of family break-ups and encouraged children to lie. Other viewers were worried that the ad promoted un-healthy eating with the boy having two McDonald’s meals in one day.

The ITC calls the scenario “mildly humorous” and says it does not consider the ad “is likely to be any realistic encouragement of undesirable behaviour.”

McDonald’s pulled an ad in May which showed a dog attacking England star Rio Ferdinand following the real-life mauling of a five-year-old (MW May 23). The ITC received six complaints and McDonald’s dropped the ad after two days.

The fast-food company signed a £1m sponsorship deal with GMTV last month to support the weekend Diggit strand for children.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


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 are your guide.


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

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

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