McDonald's in Germany has agreed not to air on TV a controversial ad after rival Burger King complained that the spot, which compares Burger King's food unfavorably to McDonald's, was "degrading."
In the spot, a young boy sits on a playground day after day trying to enjoy his McDonald's burger and fries. But each time, older boys swoop in and steal his food, leaving him hungry and frustrated.
Finally, the boy hits on an idea -- he hides his McDonald's items behind a Burger King bag. He finally gets to enjoy his meal undisturbed.
In a statement issued in Munich, Burger King said: "McDonald's has broken the rules of comparative advertising by degrading the Burger King brand in the TV commercial 'Packaging.' McDonald's and Burger King have agreed that [the spot's] distribution and broadcast ... will be stopped."
The ad, created by McDonald's agencies Tribal DDB and German shop Heye & Partners, had not been approved by McDonald's. The spot has had tens of thousands of views on YouTube and is still on the site.
McDonald's is not the first marketer to get in trouble for ads created speculatively by agencies, then shared across the web.
A spot for the Ford depicted a cat having its neck crushed by an automatic sunroof when it leaps on the car in pursuit of a bird. And Volkswagen threatened to take legal action against the makers of a commercial featuring a suicide bomber blowing himself up in a VW Polo to demonstrate the model's "small but tough" tagline.