Sailors force McDonalds to change ad

An ocean cruising couple were upset when they discovered their boat had been used to promote fast food in an advert for hamburgers.

Gloria Parsons, 63, and her 72-year-old husband Alan, who have sailed the junk-rigged dory Badger twice across the Atlantic, were bemused when people kept approaching them saying: ‘We’ve seen your boat on the telly.’

The couple were unaware that Badger (pictured above) was being used in a TV commercial to promote McDonalds.

They weren’t ‘lovin’ it’ when they saw the Big Mac advert featuring their black and yellow 34ft, twin-masted boat, dried out on her mooring off Haverigg, Cumbria.

‘It implied we were endorsing their products,’ Mrs Parsons told Yachting Monthly. ‘We don’t eat fast food. We even make our own bread in Badger‘s beautiful galley.’

The couple wrote to McDonalds advertising agency, Leo Burnett, demanding the adverts be edited and after a month they received an apology and assurance that their boat would be edited out of the advert.

Alan and Gloria bought Badger in 1999 from former Yachting Monthly contributor and author Annie Hill. Annie, now living in New Zealand, said: ‘As a vegetarian, I’d find it hard to see my beloved old boat used to advertise any meat!’

A spokesman for McDonalds said: ‘Badger is a beautiful boat and we’re sorry that we didn’t realise its significance.

‘When the Parsons made us aware of their concerns, we re-edited the advert.’

You can see the boat in the boat below at 0.14:

Subscribe to Yachting Monthly magazine for all the latest sailing news and reviews.