McDonald's Vietnam apologizes for slogan mocking tragic death of Chinese man

By Hoang Vu    May 7, 2024 | 04:25 am PT
McDonald's Vietnam has apologized for its new slogan that "used inappropriate words" alluding to the death of a Chinese man who committed suicide.

On Monday the U.S. fast food chain in Vietnam unveiled a slogan for three new dishes that said "If you don't like vegetables, eat chicken with BBQ cheese."

It caused enormous outrage among netizens, many of whom slammed the chain as "cold-blooded" and "unprincipled."

The allusion was to a Chinese gamer nicknamed Fat Cat, 21, who jumped off a bridge in Chongqing to commit suicide on April 11, heart-broken after breaking up with his girlfriend.

Before his death he had once posted a picture of a cat and a caption saying: "I don't want to eat vegetables any more, I want to eat McDonald's."

According to Chinese news site, the man worked day and night and crimped on his food expenses to send money to his lover. He reportedly gave her 510,000 yuan (US$70,000), and she used it to pay bills, open a store and travel.

Vietnamese netizens expressed outrage at the slogan, and called for a boycott of the brand.

The chain posted a note of apology on its Facebook page.

"McDonald's would like to sincerely apologize to Fat Cat, his family and customers, and said that we will remove all offensive content present on all platforms.

"McDonald's understands the seriousness of the incident and this is a big lesson for our communication process."

McDonald's is present in more than 118 countries with its 35,000 restaurants serving nearly 70 million people a day.

It opened its first store in Vietnam in 2014 and now has 25 in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Binh Duong, and Nha Trang.

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