McDonald's sorry after 'Sundae Bloody Sundae' ice cream marketing campaign

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
McDonald's sorry after 'Sundae Bloody Sundae' ice cream marketing campaign
Copyright  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

McDonald's has apologised for a Halloween marketing campaign in Portugal that referenced one of the darkest days of the Northern Ireland sectarian conflict. 

The advert ran pictures of its new sundae ice creams with the pun: "Sundae Bloody Sundae".

Bloody Sunday saw 13 people killed when British soldiers opened fire at a civil rights march in Derry/Londonderry on January 30, 1972. 

The advert, which started circulating on social media, drew a lot of criticism from users, with some calling it "appalling".

McDonald's said in a statement to Euronews: "When promoting its Halloween Sundae ice cream, McDonald’s Portugal developed a local market activation for a small number of its restaurants in Portugal. 

"The campaign was intended as a celebration of Halloween, not as an insensitive reference to any historical event or to upset or insult anyone in any way. 

"We sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this may have caused. All promotional material has been removed from restaurants."

Earlier this year, a former British soldier faced murder charges over the killing of two people at the Bloody Sunday incident.

The Irish band U2 wrote a political song about the events of that day entitled "Sunday Bloody Sunday".