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McDonald’s next to be warned over ‘primary school’ McFlurry ad

McDonald’s has been the latest fast food chain warned by the ASA after advertising its ice creams near a primary school.

A complainant said they felt the adverts for McFlurries and frappes were placed close to a primary school and nursery, and challenged whether the ads were for products that were high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS product ads) that were directed at children.

McDonald’s said that the poster near the school was immediately removed following notice of the complaint and advert hosts JCDecaux had assured McDonald’s that it would review its processes to prevent the mistake arising in future.

McDonald’s said the percentage of under-16s making up the audience for the ad was still “likely to be substantially less than 25%” for the advert near the primary school. McDonald’s said its ice cream advert which the complainant claimed was located near a primary school, was located outside the 100 metre perimetre set out in advertising code.

The ASA said that the advert near the nursery school was not in breach of code as while it was within 100-metres of a nursery “it was not placed within 100 metres of a primary or secondary school, and we noted that sites located near to nurseries were not considered unsuitable to carry HFSS ads under the standard approach taken by the outdoor ad industry”.

With regard to the advert which was claimed to be located near a primary school, the ASA said that the advert was within 100 metres of a primary school, and the less than 25% audience figure estimate “had been obtained by McDonald’s in response to the ASA’s investigation rather than forming the basis for placing the ad at the site”.

The ASA told McDonald’s that the advert located within 100 metres of a primary school “must not be displayed again in close proximity to a primary or secondary school”. The advertising regulator also told McDonald’s that it must take measures to ensure “HFSS product ads were not directed at children under 16” and that they were not located near a school.

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