McDonald's in Portugal apologized Thursday for a Halloween-themed dessert called "Sundae Bloody Sundae," as the term brought up memories of one of the deadliest moments of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. The fast food giant said no offense was meant, and the advertising was removed. However, the advertisements were up long enough to get attention on Twitter and social media.
"When promoting its Halloween Sundae ice cream, McDonald’s Portugal developed a local market activation for a small number of its restaurants in Portugal," a spokesperson for McDonald's told the Belfast Telegram. "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."
The statement continued, "We sincerely apologise for any offense or distress this may have caused. All promotional material has been removed from restaurant."
Portugal is cancelled. pic.twitter.com/X1egoGRq9j— MyLimes Na gCopaleen (@bigmonsterlove) October 30, 2019
On Sunday, Jan. 30, 1972, 13 people were killed and 15 wounded after Army's Parachute Regiment fired upon civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry's Bogside. The incident became known as "Bloody Sunday" and later became the subject of the 1983 U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday."
Back in March, the Public Prosecution Service announced there is evidence to change a former British soldier, known as "Soldier F" for the murders of two of the victims, James Wray and William McKinney, reports the BBC. At the time, Wray's brother Liam Wray said he was "very saddened" for the families of the other victims, as the PPS declined to charge other soldiers.
Soldier F's trial is set to start next year.
As for the McDonald's "Sundae Bloody Sundae" ads, they were harshly criticized on social media. One writer described it as an "epic pr fail" on the scale of the infamous Kendall Jenner Pepsi commercial.
@McDonalds hope ye will sack your advertising guys for this cos thats not scary halloween banter thats something they heard about and thought it could sell Bloody Sundae Hope yer ashamed of yourselfs— gyromoose (@gyromoose) November 1, 2019
"Portugal is cancelled," a Twitter user wrote.
"This is the problem with corporations letting people run their advertising department whose memories only go back as far as the first Spongebob cartoon," another person wrote.
"Just imagine how many layers of administrative approval this ad had to go through at a megacorp like McD's before being released," another chimed in.0comments
"No one in marketing caught that? Not a single one?" another asked.
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