The owner of a burger joint that used a photo of Madeleine McCann to promote Mother's Day has since laughed about the advert and said he launched it so he could buy some new watch batteries.
Joe Scholey, who runs Otley Burger Company, cracked a "joke" about the missing girls' parents and said his food is so tasty that guardians will want to leave their kids at home.
He posted images of young Madeleine and her mother Kate alongside the caption: “With burgers this good, you’ll leave your kids at home. What’s the worst that could happen [sic] Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there.”
The Otley Burger Company, based in Boroughgate, Leeds, similarly pulled a publicity stunt when they uploaded an image of Karen Matthews, who faked her daughter Shannon's abduction.
On Father's Day last year, he posted images of The Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Fred West and necrophile Jimmy Saville, reports Leeds Live.
The owner, who doesn’t have children, said: “I don’t really have a message to them [those offended]. Maybe LOL? It’s a good laugh, isn’t it? I couldn’t care if people are really offended, I really don’t.”
Explaining why he posts these dark images, the burger man said: “Many years ago in the land of lockdown, we posted one and it got a bit of attention and it brought a lot of money in.
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“So I thought, if I can do that every year, it’s a couple of hundred pounds. We thought with a couple of hundred, I could spend it on myself.
"The following year, I posted the Karen Matthews one again and everyone went absolutely mental – I thought ‘this could be bad!’ but it turned out to be the opposite. I got a load of money again.
“So I thought, this year, I need some new watch batteries – my battery is bust!”
The response on social media has drawn mixed responses.
“Time for more free National advertising,” wrote Graeme Scholey, along with a series of thumbs up and a crying-with-laughter emoticon.
“Free McCann of Coke With Every Purchase?” joked Claire McInhirst.
Mahmood_Ihatenumbers said: "Madeline McCann and her mum in this post? Seems a bit sick and in very poor taste."
To that, the owner replied: "Only thing sick here is our photoshopping skillz."
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