McDonald’s ‘inflatable’ ad cleared after park tragedy

McDonald’s says it is “monitoring and reviewing” concerns over its “bouncy castle” TV ad after the recent deaths of two women on an inflatable art installation at a park in County Durham.

The fast-food chain says it is unaware of any problems with the ad, despite the Advertising Standards Authority receiving 25 complaints about it.

The execution opens with a shot of what looks like a deflated bouncy castle. As it fills with air the camera pans back to show a blow-up McDonald’s outlet with families buying food and eating it while bouncing around.

A McDonald’s spokeswoman says the company has not received any complaints about the ad and had not been informed of any by the ASA, but adds that it is reviewing and monitoring the situation.

She says that the ad, supporting the summer menu, depicts a “fun and safe activity enjoyed by many over the summer” and that the accident in Durham was “very unfortunate and tragic”.

A spokeswoman for the ASA says the regulator will not be investigating, as the ad does not breach its code. She adds: “Had any of the complaints related to the ad being shown around news programs featuring the tragedy, there might have been grounds for an investigation, but that was not the case.”

It is not the first time a McDonald’s ad has been overtaken by events. In 2002, the fast-food giant pulled a TV spot in which a woman set a dog on England footballer Rio Ferdinand after the mauling of a child by a neighbour’s dogs (MW May 23, 2002).

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

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

THE BEST CONTENT

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.

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 are 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.

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