McDonald's chewed out for ad pushing McBites as 'less risky' than petting a pit bull

Pitbull dogs play with a rope during the

Michael Cizek/AFP/Getty Images

Pitbull dogs play with a rope during the Pitbull show on June 19, 2010 in Prague.

McDonald's came under attack Monday when an ad saying that eating a Chicken McBite was "less risky than petting a stray pit bull" triggered an uproar from pit bull owners and defenders.

"I guess McDonald’s was trying to combat the perception that their Chicken McNuggets contained unsafe ingredients, but did the geniuses in their advertising department have to vilify pit bulls to do it?" said Robert Pregulman, writing for the website Seattle Dog Spot. "Why not explain what actually goes in their product?"

Rachele Lizarraga of Sacramento says she found it reckless, so she started a Facebook site and an online petition.

McDonald's has since apologized and withdrawn the ad, saying that "the ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls."

The Kansas City-area radio ad for Chicken McBites ran just a few days before it was pulled Friday, McDonald's spokeswoman Ashlee Yingling said Monday.

Some critics said McDonald's should also donate to pit bull causes or use a pit bull in an ad, but there's been no word from McDonald's on those ideas.

Pit bulls have long been the targets of “Breed-specific” legislation (BSL), a blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain breeds completely in the hopes of reducing dog attacks. The cities of Ontario, Miami and Denver have all instituted pit bull bans.

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