Thursday, April 25, 2024

A McCrispy Funeral – McDonald’s Mocked For Placing “Darkly Comical” Advert Next To Crematorium

As McDonald’s attracts mockery for placing a “darkly comical” advert for their McCrispy sandwich next to a crematorium sign in Cornwall, we discover a journalist enthusiast for the processed chicken product who even wears McDonald’s branded leisurewear

In October last year, the Manchester Evening News’ affiliates and reviews writer Bethan Shufflebotham lamented McDonald’s replacing their ‘Chicken Legend’ with something called a ‘McCrispy.’


Shufflebotham – a lady with a penchant for dressing up in clothing emblazoned with the brand’s logo even – claimed many customers were “devasted” and argued they were “losing, quite literally, a legend.” She enthusiastically, however, tempered that the McCrispy had “already won over celebrities Maya Jama and Leigh Francis following a successful star-studded launch in Salford.”


Going further of “McDonald’s first new permanent chicken burger in fifteen years,” the journalist claimed she was “excited to try it for the first time” and enthused that “there’s no denying that it’s attractive.” Shufflebotham’s surprisingly detailed fuller review of this processed chicken sandwich follows at the end of this article.


On Friday, however, the McCrispy attracted a very different kind of attention when it featured in a Daily Star article by Perkin Amalarah and Lee Trewhela. In it, the pair highlighted that McDonald’s had come under criticism after a large advert for the ‘new’ product on a bus shelter right next to a sign giving directions into the Penmount Crematorium in Truro, Cornwall.


Photographed and shared by eager beaver ‘Angry People in Local Newspaper’ types on social media, thousands had come to comment on this “ironically placed poster.” Some found it “hilarious” whilst others thought it “disgusting.” One went as far as to say: “Could have been worse. They could have added: ‘Extra crispy’” whilst another added: “Will they be playing Alicia Keys’ This Girl Is On Fire at that bus stop also?”


On Saturday Evening, picking up on this “bad taste” news story, The Guardian reported: “[A spokesman for the] chain said the company was not aware that the McCrispy bus stop ad in question was so close to a crematorium road sign. ‘In light of the concerns raised by Cornwall Live, we have asked for our advertisement to be removed,’ the rep’s statement added.”


McDonald’s previously caused offence in May 2017 after screening a television advertisement for their Filet-O-Fish sandwich in which a boy asked his mother about his dead father. The promotion showed the boy looking sad as he was told the pair wouldn’t have had much in common, but then happy as he eats a Filet-O-Fish with his mother announcing: “That was your dad’s favourite too.”


Later, after public outrage, the ‘Dead Dad TV advert’ was removed and a spokeswoman for the firm remarked: “It was never our intention to cause any upset. We are particularly sorry that the advert may have disappointed those people who are most important to us: our customers.”


On Saturday, The Steeple Times approached Bethan Shufflebotham for comment via Twitter; we have yet to hear if she thinks this sandwich saga “on fire” or just plain “tasteless.”


Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party.


Pictured Top – The offending advert next to the sign for the Penmount Crematorium in Truro, Cornwall.


McCrispy launch Bethan Shufflebotham
McDonalds launched the product on the 12th October 2022 (pictured left) in Manchester with a fanfare. Guests in attendance numbered ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!’ contestant Olivia Attwood, comedian Leigh Francis (AKA Keith Lemon) and television presenter Maya Jama. Meanwhile, definite enthusiast Bethan Shufflebotham (pictured right) has written extensively not only about the McCrispy, but also plenty also about the fast food chain in general on other occasions.
The McCrispy® is described on the McDonald’s website as: “100% chicken breast fillet in a crispy, crunchy coating. Served with iceberg lettuce, black pepper mayo and a delicious sourdough-style sesame topped bun.” It is listed as giving 2031kJ per portion and containing 18g of fat, 6.9g sugars and 1.9g salt. The meat used in the product is supplied by Cranswick PLC in Hull – a firm that has had to fly in 400 butchers from the Philippines to deal with the success of it and which has seen its revenue rise by 12.4% as a result.

Responses to the saga of McDonald’s placing advertising next to the Penmount Crematorium sign on social media…

“I’m not livin’ it… Tasteless.”


“Shouldn’t the subline on the advert be: ‘To die for?’”


“Will they be playing Alicia Keys’ This Girl Is On Fire at that bus stop also?”


“I laughed so hard that Satan said I get a free bus ride to hell.”


“Last meal rights, I’m guessing.”


“Would you like fries with that?”


“Ideal if you’re hungry after the funeral.”


“Inspiration for the funeral buffet.”


“It might suit in the cost of living crisis as a budget reducing option.”


“At least it’s not Burger King, flaming good.”


“Wouldn’t an advert for McRibs be more appropriate?”


“At the crematorium café, when I asked for a steak, they asked how I wanted it done. I replied: ‘Cremated.’”


“They should have given a flame-grilled option in that location.”


“In protest against all the Cornish who were offended by this McDonald’s advert, I will be putting my cream on before the jam until further notice.”


“At least it’s not at the turning into Lancaster Crematorium which is on Powderhouse Lane.”


“There’s a crematorium in Durham Massey, Altrincham on a street called ‘Charcoal Road.’ When I pass, it always makes me giggle.”


“Our dad died alone in care home during Covid and his funeral was not the send-off he deserved. Seeing this sign would not have been appreciated.”


“I think how funny it is will probably depend on how long ago you followed the crematorium sign wearing a black tie.”


“At the ‘crem’ where my dad was created, there was a sign that read: ‘Dead slow.’ It made me smile and I knew my dad was looking down laughing.”


“Well it got them plenty of more notice didn’t it! Bad placement without thinking hum, I don’t think so! I only recently lost two loved ones and to be honest if I’d seen that sign near the crematorium I would have smiled. I don’t find it offensive at all.”


“Showed this my grandpa and his first response was: ‘Guess some people got really burned-up about it.” I peed myself.”


“I’d have been in stitches if I’d have seen this on the way to my dad’s cremation. I don’t think he ever had a McDonald’s in his entire life, but he’d still have laughed also.”


“I think it is brilliant. McDonald’s DO NOT move it. It’s funny… Anyone who doesn’t find it funny needs to get a life.”


“Too many snowflakes getting upset… Only the Karen and Susan types of Cornwall would get offended. It’s funny. End of.”


“It’s like putting up a temporary roadwork sign saying “cat’s eyes removed” right outside a veterinary surgery.”


“It’s hilarious. They should leave it there… Everybody dies, so why not have a laugh about it?”


“Turned out to be a great advertisement. Everyone’s talking about it.”


“Perhaps they should replace it with a life insurance advert.”


“Could have been worse. They could have added: ‘Extra crispy.’”


“No more tasteless than any of their offerings.”


“Is there a taxidermist down the road?”


“All I can conclude is: ‘Well done.’”


Bethan Shufflebotham reviews the McCrispy for the ‘Manchester Evening News,’ 21st October 2022…

Never could one imagine someone getting so enthused by a McDonald’s product, but Bethan Shufflebotham most certainly did:


“Made with 100 per cent chicken breast fillet, the McCrispy comes in a yellow box, and on lifting the lid, there’s no denying that it’s attractive. The patty comes served in a four-inch glazed bun making it look like one of the chain’s more premium burgers, topped with lettuce and mayo.”


“Biting into the stack, it’s evident that this is far superior to the Mayo Chicken, with a definite crunch to the crispy coating. Marinated in black pepper and cayenne, it’s got a bit of a kick to it, but not enough to put a Korma-orderer off. Not only that, but the bun balances any heat with its sweet nutty toasted flavour, making it a really enjoyable and filling meal. Having had the potato waffles prior, I couldn’t finish the last bite, despite being desperate to polish it off.”


“The McCrispy costs £6.49 for an extra-value meal, which comes with fries and a drink, on its own, it’s £4.99. In comparison, the Mayo Chicken is 99p, but it is pretty bland and far smaller in comparison. It’s your call as to whether you want to pay the additional £4 for a more full-bodied burger and bun.”


“A friend of mine who tried the burger the same day said: ‘It was like eating a massive Chicken Select encased in bread.’ And when you consider the price of three Chicken Selects is £3.29, the price seems to be put in perspective a little better.”


Pemount Crematorium
The entrance to the Penmount Crematorium (opposite where the offending advert was placed on a bus shelter).
Will this chicken sandwich survive its moment at the crematorium or will it be incinerated by McDonald’s after the public relations debacle an advert for it caused?
Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. Oh you Brits &, I thought Americans were strange. Just kidding! Matthew & the steeple Times do have a brilliant way of finding great stories. So, west of Amarillo, TX there is a Cadillac graveyard. You can see old Cadillacs protruding from their graves. Thanks for keeping it interesting.^^^


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