McDonald's in Portugal has issued an apology after customers slammed the company's Halloween promotion which used the slogan "Sundae Bloody Sundae".

The two-for-one offer on strawberry sundaes did not go down well with customers.

While the company says it was intended to be a reference to U2's song "Sunday Bloody Sunday", customers slammed it as historically insensitive.

The campaign was pulled after numerous complaints and the company issued an apology.

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Social media users called it "insensitive" to use the massacre of January 1972 in Northern Ireland as a promotional tool.

"When promoting its Halloween Sundae ice cream, McDonald's Portugal developed a local market activation for a small number of its restaurants in Portugal," a spokesperson for McDonald's Portugal told The Guardian.

"The campaign was intended as a celebration of Halloween, not as an insensitive reference to any historical event or to upset or insult anyone in any way. We sincerely apologise for any offence or distress this may have caused."