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.)
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 (opens in new tab).
And now, it's been removed. A McDonald's representative told Business Insider (opens in new tab), "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."
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.