UK Couple Pressure McDonalds To Remove Their Boat From TV Ad

from the you-sure-showed-them dept

In the continuing saga of people thinking they have a right to what other people see, a British couple has pressured McDonalds into removing their boat from its TV commercials. Adweek dug up the ad itself, which you can see below, along with a still image of the boat from the ad:


As you can see, the boat is way off in the background. And the boat is seen for a grand total of 3 seconds. Yet, the couple got very upset:
"We didn't see the advert ourselves at first, but lots of people kept saying to us: 'Oh, we saw the Badger on the McDonald's advert.' It was quite irritating, especially as we are not fond of fast food and the Badger has a beautiful galley where we cook everything from scratch. We even make our own bread," said Gloria Parsons, 63, who owns the boat with her husband Alan, 72.

"Then one night we were watching something and the advert was on every break, right across about two hours of the programme. Lots of people were very excited to see the Badger on screen, but we weren't. She is very precious and very special to us, and we felt upset that this large corporation would just ride roughshod over our feelings. It wouldn't be acceptable to go into someone's garden and just take a shot of their house, so why use the Badger?
A radio station heard about them being upset and called McDonald's, who agreed to re-edit the commercial without the boat and issued an apology. Of course, in the end, the joke may be on the couple, as their efforts have brought a ton of attention to the original ad and just by judging from the comments on YouTube, people really like the commercial.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    The advertisement makes McDonalds look like Microsoft, seriously. Not that I eat their McCrap, but this makes me want to go even less...

     

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    rich, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    Corporations get so overly protective of their IP and trademarks. I can't help but enjoy seeing that turned back on them. I'm sure if the Parsons posted a YouTube video with a brief shot of Ronald McDonald, McDonalds would not be amused.

     

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    rooben (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    It doesn't seem that the customers are worried about people being able to see their boat, but from businesses using it as a prop in an ad. I see this as a complete different subject. If Babs had complained about a commercial using the pictures of her house in it, vs pictures available to the general public for free - different.

    This was a very carefully framed shot, with that boat intentionally used as a prop - that shot wouldn't have been the same without the boat. It was a substantial part of those three seconds of film.

     

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      DJ (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      On the one hand, I agree with you that the photographer clearly took a photo of the boat intentionally, and then McD's intentionally used that photo to aid in marketing their product.

      However, if the Parsons want only those people who have explcit permission to photograph their boat, they should lock it in a boathouse and never ever take it out. Likening this photo to going "into someone's garden and just take a shot of their house" is inaccurate at best. The only definite statement I can make is that it was obiviously not shot on property owned or rented by the Parsons; if it were they would've known about the photo shoot in advance and, most likely, monetarily compensated. Therefore there was no "going into the garden". As for taking a shot of the house, I'm unfamiliar with UK laws on that, but most places in the US a photographer can photograph anyone's home at any time, provided, the shot is not being taken FROM privately owned land, and any visible address numbers and people are brushed out before publicizing.

       

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        btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 4:07am

        Re: Re:

        It would be interesting to find out what would happen if we made a commercial about litter, filming in front of a mcdonalds, with a pile of mcdonalds litter all over the ground.
        mcdonalds wouldn't mind, would they?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 4:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why wouldn't we just pick up the litter instead and move on?

           

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            btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because we are making a commercial.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2010 @ 6:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Who would make a commercial about litter? The litter company?

               

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                btrussell (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 2:50pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Who would make a commercial about crude oil on ducks? The cruse oil on ducks company?

                Who would make a commercial about clubbing seals?
                The club seals to death club?

                Got any more moronic questions?

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 4:28am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  btrussell
                  Don’t sell yourself short. Your questions are legitimate and not moronic only distractions from your motivation for walking past litter because you have a camera in hand. Too many people will walk past the litter because they think it’s not their problem. But you’ve got a camera in your hand which makes you better than the people who have walk past and did nothing, better than the viewer of your commercial because you’re pointing out a problem the doesn’t need to exist but for a cameraman’s narcissistic reasons, better than the company whose name is on the trash because they appeal lower income individuals whom you look down on.

                  As we enter the holiday season, be good for goodness’ sake. Put down the camera, pick up the litter, clean an oil covered duck and refuse to buy baby seal skins.

                  I believe this is the goodwill McDonald’s was going for. A message the couple felt was not worthy of the image of their boat.

                   

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                    btrussell (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 5:02am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Who said the garbage wasn't cleaned up after the commercial was made?

                    Making assumptions...

                    I only buy genuine Saskatchewan sealskin.

                     

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        MikeLinPA (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re:

        I am on the fence about this one.

        One the one hand, the boat is out in the opened on public property. There was no trespassing involved in the taking of the photo. If I had been on that beach with a camera, I could have taken that shot, (and been rather pleased with myself. It is a beautiful shot.)

        On the other hand, it is being used for commercial purposes, not private or artistic. Do private or artistic uses have to meet different standards? When do you need a model release, and when don't you?

        And as someone else said, McD's would sue in a heartbeat! They already have, many times.

         

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    interval (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Nice commercial

    I love the English country and weather. The only thing really wrong with it is 10 seconds in your eyes are dragged through the courtyard of a group of those horrible rent-controlled government flats from the 60's. Too bad, the rest of the video is quite nice.

     

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    trilobug, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    No fatties.

    Man, McDonald's commercial spots in the states suck.

     

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    Krusty, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:06pm

    Uh....

    Somebody has has to much free time on their hands and those boat owners are old cantankerous farts =:o

     

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    Jim, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Interesting Case Study

    As I'm not very versed in UK Law, would anyone know if McDonalds would have a leg to stand on here; considering this picture was shot from a public beach and all?

     

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    Eugene (profile), Nov 19th, 2010 @ 4:18pm

    Well it was very nice of McDonalds to take the shot out like that. I don't think they really had to.

     

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      Ron, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 4:50am

      Re: Nice McDonalds...

      It was a wise business move. They will want to quickly sidestep this as the only eventual outcome is more discussion about why the couple didn't want their boat used in the first place. The fact is that eating only McDonalds will kill you (watch Supersize me). I don't care how good anyone thinks it is or how responsible about eating everyone should be. You don't have to over eat it. Even in sensible portions eaten daily it will kill you. NO FOOD SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF KILLING YOU. I wouldn't want anything of mine to be used to represent anything like that in a positive light and totally sympathize with that couple.

       

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        Eugene (profile), Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 4:15pm

        Re: Re: Nice McDonalds...

        ...I'm a bad example, but *I* watched Supersize Me, and all it did was make me hungry for McDonalds >_>

        Also, there was that other guy who, in response to Supersize Me, ate only McD's in reasonable portions for the same amount of time and *lost* weight, just to prove that calorie intake was more important than food quality. (He also noted that the Supersize Me guy cheated by constantly drinking soda, even though he could have just as easily requested water or iced tea - and Coke was probably the primary cause of his weight gain)

        Recently someone did the same thing with only Hostess products, showing that "unhealthy" foods don't actually cause you to be unhealthy as long as you watch how much and how often you eat. It's really a personal responsibility thing, in the end.

        /obnoxiously off-topic tangent

         

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        •  
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          Fred, May 16th, 2012 @ 3:53am

          McDonalds won't kill you...

          But overeating eventually will. Supersize me is a rdiculous film, he does exactly what it says on the tin, 'supersize' everything, of course he is going to put on weight and affect his health, I could do the same by gorging every meal time on ANY food.

          I enjoy a McDonalds, though I don't do it very often (maybe once a month), but McDonalds calorie count the food for you, and it is nutritionally balanced (if a bit over processed like many foods today)

          Me, I put on weight easily, so I watch what I eat and train to keep fit, and I still have to miss the odd meal to keep my weight down.

          It is a simple equation;
          shove more calories in your mouth than your body uses = gain weight
          eat less than your body uses = lose weight

          Your body can only be in anabolic state (growing tissue/storing energy) or a catabolic state (using up energy/breaking down tissue) it is not static, so neither can your body weight ever truly be the same, moment to moment, day to day without YOU making adjustments to keep it there.

          Eat wholefoods, foods that are not over processed that will leave you feeling hungry again in an hour, eat you veggies and your fruit, and do some sort of activity that gets your heart pumping, start small and keep at it, remember, it is consistency with diet and exercise, better to do 3 light sessions of exercise a week than a heavy session one once a month

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Fred, May 16th, 2012 @ 3:53am

          McDonalds won't kill you...

          But overeating eventually will. Supersize me is a rdiculous film, he does exactly what it says on the tin, 'supersize' everything, of course he is going to put on weight and affect his health, I could do the same by gorging every meal time on ANY food.

          I enjoy a McDonalds, though I don't do it very often (maybe once a month), but McDonalds calorie count the food for you, and it is nutritionally balanced (if a bit over processed like many foods today)

          Me, I put on weight easily, so I watch what I eat and train to keep fit, and I still have to miss the odd meal to keep my weight down.

          It is a simple equation;
          shove more calories in your mouth than your body uses = gain weight
          eat less than your body uses = lose weight

          Your body can only be in anabolic state (growing tissue/storing energy) or a catabolic state (using up energy/breaking down tissue) it is not static, so neither can your body weight ever truly be the same, moment to moment, day to day without YOU making adjustments to keep it there.

          Eat wholefoods, foods that are not over processed that will leave you feeling hungry again in an hour, eat you veggies and your fruit, and do some sort of activity that gets your heart pumping, start small and keep at it, remember, it is consistency with diet and exercise, better to do 3 light sessions of exercise a week than a heavy session one once a month

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Fred, May 16th, 2012 @ 3:55am

          McDonalds won't kill you...

          But overeating eventually will. Supersize me is a rdiculous film, he does exactly what it says on the tin, 'supersize' everything, of course he is going to put on weight and affect his health, I could do the same by gorging every meal time on ANY food.

          I enjoy a McDonalds, though I don't do it very often (maybe once a month), but McDonalds calorie count the food for you, and it is nutritionally balanced (if a bit over processed like many foods today)

          Me, I put on weight easily, so I watch what I eat and train to keep fit, and I still have to miss the odd meal to keep my weight down.

          It is a simple equation;
          shove more calories in your mouth than your body uses = gain weight
          eat less than your body uses = lose weight

          Your body can only be in anabolic state (growing tissue/storing energy) or a catabolic state (using up energy/breaking down tissue) it is not static, so neither can your body weight ever truly be the same, moment to moment, day to day without YOU making adjustments to keep it there.

          Eat wholefoods, foods that are not over processed that will leave you feeling hungry again in an hour, eat you veggies and your fruit, and do some sort of activity that gets your heart pumping, start small and keep at it, remember, it is consistency with diet and exercise, better to do 3 light sessions of exercise a week than a heavy session one once a month

           

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    identicon
    abc gum, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 7:50pm

    I'm lovin it

     

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    misterdoug (profile), Nov 20th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Sounds like she wanted something, reached out and got it. Any business person would have to admire that.

     

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    CN, Nov 21st, 2010 @ 11:18am

    While I agree that McDonald's would probably be unhappy if the tables were turned, I don't think it's the same. McDonald's is almost universally recognized, while the boat is not. Save for a few friends, almost nobody recognizes the boat.

    We don't need more and more restrictions on what we can photograph.

    It's not like they photoshopped a big M on the mast.

     

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    TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 21st, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Micky D aside, the ad is a wonderful example of creative where the ad itself attracts attention for a host of reasons other than the actual advertiser.

    Compare this ad to the current round of Gillette junk where a camera crew crashes into a dressing room cameras operating a complete lighting crew, guys changing in the background while some slack mouthed guy "interviews" people about their razor and Gillette's new one. Any change room I've been in a few of those guys would end up wearing a foot or something harder slammed into their crotch until they got the hell out of there.

    Again, compare this to the creative involved with the current crop of Schick ads where something that comes into contact with the face suddenly becomes a splash of water. Never mind the couple of scenes that are sexually charged, it gets the point across creatively and without descending to the level of stupidity of the Gillette ad.

    As for this woman, if the boat was beached at low tide on a public beach available for anyone to take a picture (which I'd have tried to frame the same way) of it there too bad that it got used in an ad. Any ad. It was there, in public, too bad, so sad.

    And it it been in another companies ad. perhaps one she approved of, there'd have been no complaint. And just who, among the millions who saw that ad could have identified the boat until she spoke up?

    It almost looks like she was looking for some free advertising by way of media who reported her claims and others for her own small business. So she got that and good on her.

    Still, that she should be able to censor the media including advertising simply because she disagrees with the advertiser's products, way of conducting business is troubling given that I'm almost sure that until she kicked up the fuss I could have found that image in any stock photo collection where I bothered to look for it.

    Most advertising is so bad as it is that when one comes along that's this good in terms of its creative component to get censored like this I do find it disturbing.

    Of course, it's just as creative and impressive without the not all that special boat beached on the sand so perhaps the trade off hasn't been all that bad.

    ttfn

    John

     

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    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 4:35am

    If it were...

    If you had a garden in a public park, then yes, they could, would, and have taken pictures/videos of the garden.

    Thus, if you had parked your boat somewhere that you own, lets say, your driveway maybe, or backyard, you would have something to go on.

    Turns out, beaches are typically public.

     

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    Verbotszeichen, Nov 22nd, 2010 @ 4:52am

    photographic freedom

    I don´t think McD had to remove the boat, but they did and got much attention. Win!

     

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    Nipsey, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    I certainly hope they had proper permission from the owner of each and every one of the flats in that large apt complex...and the owners each house in that Arian shot

     

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  •  
    identicon
    james moylan, May 23rd, 2011 @ 11:55am

    about MCdonalds

    I have a web site where I give advise on penny stocks and stocks under five dollars. I have many years of experience with these type of stocks. If their is anyone that is interested in these type of stocks you can check out my web site by just clicking my name. I would like to comment about MCdonalds while MCdonalds may be a very solid company. I do not believe that it is anymore than a mediocre investment you could make maybe ten or twelve percent per year on your money over a ten year period. which is about the average return for stocks. I know of low price stocks of decent quality that could easily appreciate at 30 to 40 percent a year over a five or ten year period without a tremendous amount of risk.

     

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