McDonald's can reference dead popstar Prince – who was an outspoken vegan – to sell burgers, the ASA says
- A consumer was agitated by McDonald's TV ad that includes a reference to the legendary Prince.
- Prince was an outspoken vegan.
- The ads authority rubbished McDonald's claim that it wasn't referencing Prince, but okayed the ad nonetheless.
McDonald's South Africa can continue to use a burger advertisement that portrays the legendary singer Prince, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.
The shows two characters battling it out about how they "Big Mac", leading up to the tagline "how do you Big Mac?
The woman starts the duel with her assertion that "I 'Big Mac' pretty”.
Her opponent tries to outbid her with: "Girl, please, I ‘Big Mac’ like Prince”.
A complainant said the advertisement was offensive because it misrepresented Prince's legacy. He was an outspoken vegan and even composed a vegan-inspired song, 'Animal Kingdom', which he donated to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
McDonalds said the ad did not reference Prince at all – but the ASA disagreed.
But the ASA okayed the ad because of its exaggerated and over-the-top nature. Consumers would not see it is a literal endorsement by Prince, the ASA said.
It helps that the Prince character is not shown eating a burger.
"The emphasis is on how cool Prince is, and not on eating meat," the ASA said.
This is McDonald's Prince-referencing ad, as aired on TV.
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