Complaints against the latest McDonald’s TV ad, featuring a man stealing his wife’s handbag to buy a burger, has been dismissed by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), despite several complaints saying the ad reinforces a sexist stereotype.
The advertisement is for McDonald’s Angus beef burger, depicting a man being summoned to visit a McDonald’s restaurant by the Mr Angus van bagpipes. A man is waiting for his wife to hand him money so he can purchase an Angus burger when he soon becomes impatient, taking his wife’s handbag and shouting “Sorry. Love you!” as he runs out. We then see this man and many others running after the Mr Angus van as it heads to a McDonald’s restaurant.
The ad received a barrage of complaints for showing “a sexist stereotype of stupid, infantile males.”
One complainant said: “If similar advertisement were to show women mesmerised by music, asking their men for money and stealing their wallet (as a man in the ad does to his presumed wife), running after a handbag mobile into a handbag store, there would be no doubt of sexism.
“The same standards should apply regardless of the sex being affronted,” the complainant added.
The ASB dismissed all complaints against the ad, noting there is no suggestion that the main is stealing his wife’s bag.
“He needs the money more quickly than she can get it out and that his impatience with her at not being able to access her bag quick enough to give him money is not discriminatory towards women, but reflective of an impatient moment that could happen to either gender.
“The overall theme of the advertisement which likens the Mr Angus van to an ice-cream van, which is generally a positive experience for those following, considered that the depiction of men chasing after the van is similar to the reaction young children would have to an ice-cream van,” says the ASB.
In response, McDonald’s, said the commercial was not in breach of the advertising code.
“We submit that the advertisement does not incite hatred towards men or treat them in an unfair manner. Nor does the advertisement reinforce any offensive gender-based stereotypes or promote any act of bigotry or intolerance.
“Rather, the advertisement simply adopts a light-hearted approach to illustrate a man’s love for Angus by “answering the call” at McDonald’s – reminiscent of an ice cream van’s call to action,” says McDonalds.