Why People Are So Upset Over This Australian Burger Ad Trolling McDonald's

Fast food chain advertisements have caused their fair share of scandals over the years. According to Us Food, Jack in the Box upset diners by making fun of the #MeToo movement, Carl's Jr. made fun of the controversial border wall, and a McDonald's advertisement that aired during the 2015 Golden Globe was accused of profiting off of national tragedies, including the Boston Marathon bombing. A new Australian restaurant advertisement now joins the ranks of offensive fast food commercials and has drawn a ton of criticisms.

An Australian burger chain called Grill'd recently released a disturbing ad that violated several laws, per Creative Bloq. The commercial features a cartoon Ronald McDonald cornering children in a dark alleyway, appearing to flash them. Then, a cartoon burger swoops in to save the day. According to The Takeout, the commercial then reveals that Ronald McDonald is completely clothed and has a selection of plastic toys in his coat. He then takes a knife out of his shoe, fights the Grill'd burger mascot, and ends up lanced to the alleyway wall. Understandably, the sexual innuendo and violence in the ad has drawn a maelstrom of criticism.

Grill'd defended its controversial advertisement

Following the sharing of the advertisement, one person shared, "The ad suggests that two children are in the process of being sexually assaulted. This is offensive and upsetting for various reasons, including being deeply disturbing to unsuspecting sexual assault victims watching the ad. It also downplays the seriousness of crimes of exposure/flashing" (via Mumbrella). Another said, "Displaying an advertisement that makes fun of a Ronald McDonald-type person in a trench coat creeping up to two children who are alone in an alley is extremely inappropriate for children to view and encourages them to [minimize] the danger of sexual assault and pedophilia by unknown adult." Officials were equally put off by the commercial and found it to breach the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics.

Amid the backlash, the Australian burger chain actually defended the commercial. According to The Takeout, the chain stood by the fact that the Ronald McDonald cartoon consistently wore clothes through the ad and any portrayed violence amounted to the same levels as seen in cartoons. A panel wasn't swayed by the defense, and Grill'd agreed to alter the commercial to fix the outstanding issues.