McDonald’s apologises for using the slogan ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’ to promote ice-cream puddings in a Portuguese Halloween advertising campaign
- The slogan appeared in several Portuguese outlets but has now been removed
- McDonald’s said it had not intended to invoke the violence in Northern Ireland
- British soldiers killed 13 people on Bloody Sunday during the Troubles in 1972
McDonald’s has apologised for a Halloween promotional campaign gone wrong in which an ice cream dessert was branded as ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’.
The fast-food giant said it had not intended to invoke the memory of Bloody Sunday in 1972, when British soldiers shot 13 people dead at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The slogan had appeared in several McDonald’s restaurants in Portugal but has now been dropped after an outcry.
One customer posted a picture of the advert on Twitter with the caption: ‘Portugal is cancelled’.
Controversy: McDonald’s has apologised for a Halloween promotional campaign gone wrong (above) in which an ice cream dessert was branded as ‘Sundae Bloody Sundae’ in Portugal
In a statement to BBC News, a McDonald’s spokesman said that only a ‘small number of restaurants’ had carried the slogan.
‘When promoting its Halloween Sundae ice cream, McDonald’s Portugal developed a local market activation for a small number of its restaurants in Portugal,’ they said.
‘The campaign was intended as a celebration of Halloween, not as an insensitive reference to any historical event or to upset or insult anyone in any way.’
The advert had since been removed from all the restaurants in question, the spokesman said.
‘Sunday, Bloody Sunday’ is the title of a U2 song and a 1971 film but many customers felt it was an unfortunate reference to the violence in Northern Ireland.
One Twitter user, Nial Finegan, said the advert was ‘totally unacceptable’ and urged McDonald’s to take it down.
Bloody Sunday: British soldiers in Londonderry on January 30, 1972, one of the darkest days in the history of the Northern Ireland conflict
Another user asked: ‘McDonald’s – do you know your history?’.
British soldiers shot at civilians in Londonderry on January 30, 1972, killing 13 people, on one of the darkest days in the Northern Ireland conflict.
A long-awaited report which was published in 2010 found it had been ‘unjustifiable’ for the British paratroopers to open fire.
Then-PM David Cameron apologised on behalf of the British government after the report was published.
In a similar row in 2013, a bar in London’s Covent Garden sold a cocktail called Sundae Bloody Sundae, topped with a toy soldier.
The promotion was labelled ‘crass and offensive’ at the time.