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Priests denounce McDonald's TV ad

Message 'could corrupt the young and trivialize relationships

  • ucanews.com staff, Manila
  • Philippines
  • April 11, 2011
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Catholic leaders today demanded the withdrawal of a TV advertisement by a fast-food chain for allegedly teaching wrong values to children.

“It could give the wrong message to children that it’s all right to enter into a courtship, and it could pave the way for the very young to be lax and carefree,” said Bishop Deogracias Iniguez of Kalookan, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ conference of the Philippines’ Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs.

The prelate was referring to a McDonald’s ad in which a little girl asks a little boy “Can I be your girlfriend?” To which the boy answers: “No. A girlfriend is too demanding. Too expensive.”

The boy eventually gives in when the girl says all she wants is “french fries.”

“The ad must be replaced,” said Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, in an interview over Church-run radio.

He said the ad plays with kids’ emotion and cheapens relationships. “It should go. It will be viewed by many children, especially this summer when they are on vacation.”

Father Castro said government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and consumer advocates should be protecting children’s welfare.

“They should not just look at ‘bigger things;’ this looks so subtle,” the priest said.

“Our appeal to the faithful is to make that company feel our sentiments. Let’s protest this subtle and open attempt to change our values as Filipinos,” he added.

He said children must be taught the right values like love for parents, country, God, nature, not human relationships that are not appropriate for their age.

“Not only that, you’re teaching commitment but you are basing it on so shallow a thing as french-fries. That’s not a good signal, especially since you are targeting youth,” the priest said.
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