Italy's pizza chefs have threatened legal action against McDonald's after the fast-food giant released an advertisement suggesting that Italian children preferred a Happy Meal to a margherita.
The True Neapolitan Pizza Association, which represents pizza makers across Italy, accused McDonald's of a "shameful attack" against the country's cultural traditions, and warned them to stop "trying to make money at the expense of children's health".
The 20-second video, uploaded on to YouTube, shows a waiter in a pizzeria asking a small boy which pizza he would like. "A Happy Meal," the boy responds, before the camera switches to a new shot of the boy with his family in McDonald's. "Your little boy had no doubt," says a voice at the end of the advertisement.
Massimo Di Porzio, the vice-president of The True Neapolitan Pizza Association, said: "We've had enough of them making money at the expense of children's health. Our legal team is looking at the possibility of legal action to put an end to his shameful attack on a symbol of the Mediterranean diet.
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"It is not the first time and it will not be the last time that McDonald's has tried to attack our cultural traditions but this time we are intent on taking action, which if we win, will allow us to invest in courses to help educate children about food."
Watch the Italian McDonald's ad here:
Eduardo Pagnani, co-owner of Pizzeria Brandi, one of the most famous pizza restaurants in Naples, said it was "blasphemy" to suggest children preferred hamburgers.
"Don't ridicule pizza: it is quality food and the best known in the world," he said.
McDonald's said it had not meant to attack pizza, which it called an "institution", but insisted that "even the pizza chefs of Naples have probably brought their children to us at least once".