French gay McDonald's ad causes controversy

By Mark Banham, campaignlive.co.uk, Monday, 07 June 2010 01:50PM

McDonald's has caused controversy in France by releasing its first ever television ad featuring a gay teenager.

Screening in France and created by Euro RSCG, the ad invites diners to "come as you are" and features a teenager looking longingly at his school photo and then calling a mystery partner to say he 'misses' them.

In the ad's twist, the teenager's father returns from the counter with a tray full of burgers and says, "It's a shame you're in an all boys college. You would have had all the girls chasing you."

The sentence is followed by a wry smile from the young teenager, who has obviously not yet told his father he is gay.

A YouTube version of the ad has been seeded and one stream has currently recorded nearly 140,000 views.

The director of the ad is Xavier Giannoli, who has previously directed spots for Volkswagen Polo.

Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly has already caused more controversy after he mocked the ad on air saying "Do you think they have an ad for Al Qaeda?" comparing the McDonald's ad to promotion by the terrorist group.

Gay activists have now called for a public apology from O'Reilly.

A spokeswoman for McDonalds said that the ad was meant to recognise the diversity of McDonald's customers in France.

The media planning and buying for the spot is by OMD Group. 

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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