McDonald's apologizes for advertising "Sundae Bloody Sundae"

Bloody Sunday was an atrocity committed by British troops in Northern Ireland, killing 14 unarmed Catholic protesters at a 1972 march. Sunday Bloody Sunday is the title of one song by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and another by U2 that commemorate the event. Sundae Bloody Sundae is a promotion at McDonald's restaurants in Portugal, for which the company is now apologizing.

"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. We sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this may have caused."

It said all related promotional material had now been removed from its restaurants. McDonald's is not the first company to inadvertently invoke painful chapters in Irish and British history. In 2006 the US firm Ben & Jerry apologised to Irish consumers after it launched Black and Tan ice-cream. The firm said the flavour had been inspired by the classic mixture of stout and pale ale, but customers were quick to point out the name had far grimmer associations. The Black and Tans were an irregular force of British ex-servicemen recruited and deployed during the Irish war of independence, where they quickly developed a reputation for brutality.