McFlurry commercial incites McFury in South Africa

Critics slam a McDonald’s ad for exploiting real children from a local orphanage in order to sell ice cream. Plus, social media manager stereotypes, moving PR beyond the Dark Ages, Oreo and Kit-Kat battle in Tic-Tac-Toe, and more.

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What’s that about no good deed going unpunished?

McDonald’s was reminded of this when a spot promoting its McFlurry sundae garnered a chillier reception than anticipated. Shot and aired only in South Africa—home to millions of impoverished children—the spot was panned by critics, who say the fast food chain exploited real orphans from a Sakhumzi home. The ad features the children traveling to the restaurant where they each receive the signature ice cream treat. The kids then venture to a local nursing home where they share their desserts with the residents. Daily Mail said the commercial’s press agency, DDB, accompanied the video with the following statement:

“Based on the premise that everybody has got something to give, we set out to spread happiness with this live stunt commercial. No actors, just a real orphanage and old age home, and one take to get the moment.”

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