McDonald’s Italy recently suggested in an advertisement that kids will always pick Happy Meals over pizza. The commercial shows a little boy ordering a Happy Meal at a pizzeria, with a voiceover saying, “Your little boy has no doubt.” Not surprisingly, pizza makers all over Italy were not too happy about this saucy attempt to pull fast food burgers ahead of Neapolitan pizza. In fact, the True Neapolitan Pizza Association has threatened to sue the fast food giant for this “blasphemous” suggestion, according to Business Insider, calling it a “shameful attack.”
In a statement, the Pizza Association’s president Massimo Di Porzio calls the commercial a "dishonorable attack against one of the symbols of the Mediterranean Diet," and wants McDonald’s to stop "trying to make money at the expense of children's health.” McDonald’s defended their “pie-attack” ad, saying that they did not mean to diminish the institution of Italian pizza, but said that, "even the pizza chefs of Naples have probably bought their children to us at least once.”
McDonald’s has always had a rocky relationship with Italy, first opening in Rome in the 1980s to a population who valued quality ingredients over convenience. The Slow Food movement was actually founded during a vehement protest on the Spanish Steps in 1986, next to the intended first location of the golden arches.