A bizarrely tasteless McDonald's poster just got taken down

McDonald's McCrispy ad
(Image credit: McDonald's/Future)

McDonald's is known for the quality of its print advertising, with its creative campaigns often playing with our expectations of a billboard or poster. We've seen the company ditch its branding, create type-only ads and even create a fully functioning sundial. But here's an ad that proved subversive for all the wrong reasons.

A poster for McDonald's' McCrispy burger has raised eyebrows in Cornwall, thanks to its rather unfortunate placement right behind a sign for a crematorium. And now it's been removed and replaced with something just as darkly amusing. (Looking for inspiration? Check out the best print ads of all time.)

McDonald's poster

Oops (Image credit: Cornwall Live)

Indeed, it appears to have been the burger brand's most accidentally tasteless ad yet. "Although I can see the funny side, it is tasteless and I'm sure some grieving family members won't like to see it when visiting Penmount for the funeral and cremation of a loved one," one local told Cornwall Live.

And now, it's been removed. A McDonald's representative told Business Insider, "We were unaware of the road sign in the vicinity of this bus stop. However, in light of the concerns raised by Cornwall Live, we have asked for our advertisement to be removed."

Tate St Ives poster

The replacement poster isn't much better (Image credit: Cornwall Live)

So, what's gone up in its place? A poster for local art gallery Tate St Ives, which leads with the text, "Get your locals' pass". Yep, at a glance, it looks like the poster might just be advertising a £5 locals' pass to the crematorium. You couldn't make it up.

McDonald's has made some brilliant print ads, including its recent ingenious McDelivery ads in France. But this is by no means the first time McDonald's has come under fire for its advertising. Back in the completely quiet and uneventful year that was 2020, the brand was criticised for a tasteless logo change promoting social distancing.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).