Is McDonald’s new ad amazing or abominable?

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NEW YORK — An ad by McDonald’s is testing the fine line companies need to walk when referencing national tragedies.

The ad by the world’s biggest hamburger chain that aired during the NFL playoffs and Golden Globes Sunday featured signs outside McDonald’s restaurants, including messages of support after devastating events. Among them were “We Remember 9 11” and “Boston Strong,” a reference to the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people.

The ad was set to uplifting singing by a children’s choir.

It’s part of the new campaign by McDonald’s to associate its name with the feeling of “loving.” On the chain’s Facebook page, many commenters said they were moved by the commercial and praised it. For others, the ad was a tacky use of tragic events to burnish a company’s image.

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