Burger van ad banned for joking about Madeleine McCann


A burger van advert aired over Mother’s Day in the UK to shed some light on the matter Madeleine McCann Case was banned for insult.

The Otley Burger Company’s social media accounts on March 27 read, “Burgers for dinner?” the above pictures of Madeleine and her mother Kate McCann, with further caption that reads, “With burgers that good leave you your children at home. What is the worst that could happen.”

A man could be seen in the background walking with a smaller picture of Madeleine in his hands, followed by the further line: “Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received three complaints that the ads were likely to cause annoyance and serious or widespread offense.

The ASA said it found the nature of the content of sufficient concern that it asked the relevant social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – to remove the content and suspend the account pending investigation.

The Leeds takeaway has around 7,000 followers on Instagram.

In response to the complaints, The Otley Burger Company said all ads had been removed and would not appear again.

Meta said they reviewed the content of the Instagram post and removed it for violating their policies. They also conducted a broader review of the Instagram account, removing more content and restricting the account.

Twitter said the tweet had been deleted.

The ASA cautioned that ads must not contain anything that could provoke serious or widespread offense, and advertisers must not use shocking claims or images merely to attract attention.

The ASA said: “The disappearance of Madeleine McCann was a high-profile and long-running media story that remained widely publicized. We thought the pictures of them would be instantly recognizable to many people.

“We further believed that any suggestion of a missing child was likely to be incriminating and, in the context of an advertisement for a burger company, the inconvenience caused was unjustified.”

The watchdog added that the text and image of a man running away with a superimposed photo of Madeleine “further trivialized the circumstances of Madeleine’s disappearance and has brought to light disturbing news about reports of child abduction and serious crime.”

The timing of the ad for Mother’s Day “likely added to the distress of those who saw the ads, and particularly those who may have witnessed the disappearance of a child.”

The ASA said: “For these reasons, we concluded that the ads were likely to cause undue distress and grave and widespread offense.”

It ruled that the ads should not be allowed to reappear, adding: “We have directed The Otley Burger Company to ensure they avoid causing serious and widespread insult and distress.” Burger van ad banned for joking about Madeleine McCann

Fry Electronics Team

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