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).

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