Offensive burger ad banned in UK, ensuring that everyone sees it the world over

A burger van in England posted an offensive Mother's Day ad exploiting the disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann, whose parents left her in a vacation rental while they dined at a tapas bar. The ad (which features McCann, her mother and the line "With burgers this good, you'll leave your kids at home. What's the worst that could happen") was subsequently criticized by advertising regulators, whose order that it not run again instantly ensured that it appeared in media the world over, free of charge.

The burger firm, based in the West Yorkshire town of Otley, told the ASA that it would not use photos of Kate McCann in such a manner again or superimpose images of Madeleine being kidnapped. It said that all the ads had been removed and would not be appearing again. The company also claimed that the image was a "meme" and there was no product placement, so it was not advertising.

"Memes aren't ads" is an interesting claim.

Note that the crudely-made ad's humor about parental neglect is so incomprehensibly unfunny that some readers came to better, grimmer interpretations of it such as "the McCanns ate their child" and "our burgers are made of children" in an effort to discern an actual joke.