American fast-food chain McDonald’s has pledged to remove an ad for its new McCrispy chicken sandwich that was placed outside a crematorium in England.
McCrispy’s ad was placed at a bus stop in Cornwall, England, next to a sign directing motorists to the Penmount crematorium, according to local news outlet Cornwall Live.
A woman whose mother-in-law was cremated at the crematorium last year told the agency: “While I can see the funny side (of the ad), it is in poor taste and I am sure some bereaved family members will not be happy to see it when visiting Penmount. for the funeral and cremation of a loved one.
In a statement to Business Insider, a representative for Chicago-based McDonald’s said the company was unaware that the McCrispy bus stop ad in question was so close to a crematory sign.
“In light of the concerns raised by Cornwall Live, we have asked that our advert be removed,” the representative added.
Some online users found the ad placement darkly comical. One wrote on Facebook saying: “My parents are in this crematorium. My old man had a brilliant sense of humor, so I’m sure he would have laughed it off!”
Another person wrote: “Well that got them a lot more attention didn’t it? Bad placement without thinking humm I don’t think so! I recently lost 2 loved ones and to be honest if I had seen that sign near the crematorium I would have smiled. I don’t find anything offensive.”
Meanwhile, another user said: “Thank goodness (he) wasn’t advertising Burger King and being ‘flame grilled’.
It was not immediately clear how long the sign had been up and when it would be removed.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has suffered backlash over an ad.
In 2017, McDonald’s apologized after an ad showed a young boy asking his mother about his dead father.
As the mother in the ad described to the child what the father was like, the boy looked visibly saddened by the apparent lack of resemblance between himself and his father. However, the day is saved when the mother and son stop at a McDonald’s where he orders a Filet-O-Fish sandwich and she says, “That was your dad’s favorite too.”
Psychotherapists and parents condemned the ad, arguing that it “exploited childhood grief”.
In response, McDonald’s withdrew the ad and said in a statement: “It was never our intention to cause inconvenience. We are particularly sorry that the announcement may have disappointed the people who are most important to us: our customers.”