McDonald’s sorry for ‘insensitive’ ad involving massacre
McDonald's in Portugal has apologised for using a slogan in their Halloween promotions for its ice cream puddings.
The fast food giant used a play on the name of the U2 song Sunday Bloody Sunday during their Halloween advertisement campaign. The U2 song referenced violent civil rights demonstrations in Northern Ireland in 1972.
The Bloody Sunday movement saw 28 unarmed civilians shot at by British soldiers during a civil rights march in Derry as they protested against the practice of internment. Fourteen people were killed.
An image of the ad campaign emerged on Twitter by an Irish user, who spotted the 2-for-1 offer in a Portugal McDonald's and tweeted: "Portugal is cancelled."
The company later removed all promotional materials featuring the slogan after it came under public scrutiny.
Portugal is cancelled. pic.twitter.com/X1egoGRq9j— MyLimes Na gCopaleen (@bigmonsterlove) October 30, 2019
McDonald's has insisted that the advertisement did not intend to be "an insensitive reference" to the devastating event, after it pulled the ad on Thursday.
The company also removed banners that displayed the offensive pun against a spooky, red background.
Instead, the company issued a statement claiming the ad was "promoting its Halloween Sundae ice cream (when they) developed a local market activation for a small number of its restaurants in Portugal.
"The campaign was intended as a celebration of Halloween, not as an insensitive reference to any historical event or to upset or insult anyone in any way. We sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this may have caused," McDonald's Portugal said.
But this isn't the first time the slogan has been used for promotional purposes.
In 2013, a London bar issued a similar apology for using the slogan for a cocktail named "Sundae Bloody Sundae," which was also served with a tiny toy soldier.
The bar's cocktail was later condemned by a woman whose brother had been killed during the Bloody Sunday protests.