Burger company ads making light of Madeleine McCann case banned 1 year ago

Burger company ads making light of Madeleine McCann case banned

The advert said the burgers were so good "you'll leave your kids at home" to get one.

A UK burger company that used pictures of Madeleine McCann and her mother in a Mother's Day promotion has had them removed from social media after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) found them to be "distressing".


Leeds-based Otley Burger Company posted a number of adverts on social media featuring the missing child and her mother, Kate McCann, which the ASA has since asked Twitter and Instagram to remove pending an investigation.

The company has said it won't post the images again, the BBC reported.

ASA said it received three complaints about the ads, that appeared on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, which it upheld.

They featured images of Madeleine, who disappeared on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007, and her mother. One also showed a man running with a smaller image of Madeleine in his hands and the lines "Burgers for dinner?" and "Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there".


An Instagram post on 27 March, as reported by Metro, read:

"Burgers for dinner? With burgers this good, you’ll leave your kids at home. What’s the worst that could happen? Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there."

The ASA said the disappearance of McCann had been high-profile and thus images of her would be "instantly recognisable".

"We further considered that any reference to a missing child was likely to be distressing, and that in the context of an ad promoting a burger company the distress caused was unjustified," the decision reads.


The ASA said the use of the text and image "further trivialised the circumstances surrounding Madeleine's disappearance and made light of a distressing news story concerning reports of child abduction and serious crime".

It also took issue with linking the post to Mother's Day, which was "likely to have compounded the distress of those who saw the ads, and particularly for those who may have experienced the disappearance of a child.

"For those reasons, we concluded that the ads were likely to cause unjustified distress and serious and widespread offence," the ASA said.

The standards watchdog said adverts must not use shocking claims or images to attract attention and must not contain material likely to cause serious or widespread offence.


On Father's Day last year, the burger company posted images of well-known serial killers, something it notes on its Instagram page has caused problems with its Facebook page.

The ASA noted that the adverts has been removed by the time it received a complaint.