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Posts Tagged ‘McDonald’s’

McDonald’s Shuts Down ‘McResources’ Site Advising Employees to Avoid Fast Food

mcdonalds-Quarter-Pounder-with-Cheese-Extra-Value-MealsMany companies’ human resources departments provide healthy lifestyle advice to their employees; suggestions like quitting smoking, getting regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy foods are commonplace. But when your company sells fast food, warning your employees away from it, though probably responsible, makes for an undeniable conflict of interest and a bit of a PR kerfuffle.

Last week, CNBC reported that on the McDonald’s McResources Line website, the company had posted an illustration of two meals. The first, which reportedly pictured a double cheeseburger, a soft drink and fries (sound familiar??), was labeled “Unhealthy choice.” The second meal featured a submarine sandwich, salad and a glass of water and was labeled “Healthier choice.”

The accompanying text read:

“Although not impossible it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place. In general, avoiding items that are deep fried are your best bet.”

So, basically, the unspoken message being sent by McDonald’s to its own employees seemed to be: “If you value your health, don’t eat here — eat at Subway!” Read more

Obama Administration Hires Top McDonald’s Flack to Turn the Public Against McDonald’s

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“Sit down and tell me what you really think about the minimum wage…”

Here’s a “Sounds Boring, Actually Quite Interesting” news nugget: the Obama administration has hired a former McDonald’s flack to fill a senior PR role in the Labor Department.

Why is this story worth a closer look?

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McDonald’s Tells Its Employees How to Live in Poverty

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Not even an ‘independent research institute‘ can save McDonald’s from this doozy.

At first glance McResources seems like a great project designed to provide employees with information on health services and child/elder care, among other things. But some of the “recommendations” uncovered this week just look bad. Very bad.

  • Take two vacations a year to reduce the risk of heart attack (on minimum wage?)
  • Sing to reduce job stress
  • Chew gum to reduce your cortisol levels (what?)
  • Sell your stuff on eBay or Craigslist to overcome holiday debt

Click through for the site’s greatest hits:

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McRib ‘Reveal’ Less Scandalous Than Expected

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Whatever your thoughts on industrial meat products, you have to agree that the McRib has been a big, fatty win for McDonald’s. When your product inspires a memorable plot line in a Simpsons episode, you can officially call it a success (and yes, this was well before the show turned into Family Guy 2.0 so it still counts).

Today Gothamist raided Reddit for this picture of a raw, frozen McRib shipment arriving in Canada from…wherever the magical porkers whose ribs look like this live.

Just kidding, everyone knows there are no ribs present in a McRib. But we have to say that this image isn’t as scandalous as we imagined it would be. We don’t think McD’s will have to go on damage control, and we wonder whether they should even issue a response. If they do, here’s our suggestion:

“What the hell did you expect a slab of ground pork parts pressed into the shape of a ribcage to look like?”

On the other hand, if you’ve never actually watched your sausage being made, we’ll just say “ignorance is bliss.”

McDonald’s Squeezes Out Heinz Because They’re not Down with the King

mcd heinzIn media headlines, you can hear the echoes of “The Fast Food Wars” banging down the fries-encrusted, grease-stained hallways of restaurants everywhere. As PR professionals, we think a claim like that is fluff, as if the conflict will keep us watching or reading for another few minutes.

And then when we see a story like this from Reuters, perhaps copywriters are onto something. In summary, for 40 years, the Clown has provided Heinz ketchup to its millions served. Recently, Heinz has hired a new CEO for a reinvigorated era in its history. Unfortunately for them, that new CEO is Bernardo Hees…former grand poobah of Burger King. 

And so, McDonald’s is ending that relationship with Heinz. Let the wars continue:

“We value the relationship we’ve maintained with Heinz for more than 40 years. As a result of recent management changes at Heinz, we have decided to transition our business to other suppliers over time. We have spoken to Heinz and plan to work together to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of the McDonald’s restaurant business, and are confident that there will be no impact to our business, our customers and our great tasting food at McDonald’s.”

Imagine you are working PR for Heinz. Your company hires a great guy with blazing executive past, but he’s got that secret — he led the dreaded enemy of your largest vendor for years. Someone care to throw up a red flag there? In the world of cutthroat capitalism, surely this idea had to be hurled against a whiteboard.

However, like a monkey with his poo, that idea was just stinky to the people making big bucks. And no, that’s not egg on Heinz’s face. Just putting that out there.

MEMO to Hunts and Del Monte: Your move.

McDonald’s Wants Employees to Seek Goverment Cheese and McHandouts

McTax DollarsIt’s no secret that working at a fast-food restaurant can be slightly taxing. Of course, I mean stress because there isn’t enough money in the fry guy’s wallet to be taxed in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why the cashiers, drive-thru folk and cooks make the minimum wage but in this economy? People can’t even afford a Big Mac, much less to make them for others. I would imagine you wouldn’t be a good steward of people’s resources if you didn’t consider the plights of your employees from time to time.

So, a CSR program was invented by the home of the golden arches — Meet the McResources Line. This is a hotline the clown created to suggest options for its employees to get by…because they surely can’t do it on what they are earning.

This McJoke made national news thanks to 10-year employee Nancy Delgado. She has two kids and lives under the poverty line. We don’t know her. We can’t judge her. But McDonalds certainly has the resources to support her.

However, the smarmy operator had a better idea — make the government pay for you. Don’t believe me? Here’s the call and a quote from the Clown after the jump…

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The PR Measurement Debate Enters a New Stage

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Putting the usual cultural/political flotsam and jetsam aside, these are two of the month’s most interesting developments in the PR world:

1. A majority of marketing execs think PR should handle social media duties

2. Many clients are ditching the idea of “social ROI” altogether

In short, an increasing number of people think that PR is best equipped to do social, and many within the industry are pushing for a bigger focus on measurement. At the same time, the concept of measuring the success of social campaigns in dollars-and-cents terms is losing favor among certain higher-ups.

The second point got a big boost last week when four major corporations announced plans to adopt measurement standards developed by the Coalition for Public Relations Standards, a group created in 2012 with the participation of nearly every major PR industry group.

What does this mean?

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Burger King Rebranding Stunt Succeeds Without Fooling Anyone

It’s only Wednesday and Burger King already won the prize for “most obvious marketing stunt of the week” with its supposed transformation into “Fries King.”

Twitter’s response can be summed up in a single word: TROLL! Hold on though, because it’s a little more complicated than that.

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Chipotle Aims to Tackle ‘Big Food’ with New Multimedia Campaign

Chipotle‘s food may contain some GMOs (score one for transparency), but that obviously won’t stop the brand from gunning for “Big Food”. This high-budget movie makes that point clear with a tune swiped from Wille Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and while we do prefer the Gene Wilder version to this Fiona Apple cover, the clip looks great:

The campaign also includes a mobile game in which players attempt to guide livestock toward the kind of free-range living that Chipotle claims to promote, and it won’t stop there: a series of four half-hour online episodes will expand on this “David and Goliath” story throughout the year.

The idea that Chipotle is a scrappy, organic upstart fighting “The Man” via the big, bad world of industrialized food production is more than a bit of a stretch—at the end of the day, it’s still a fast food chain once owned by McDonald’s. But as long as the brand’s writers and marketers don’t make any dubious, Naked Juice-style “100% all natural” claims, they’ll be just fine.

Coke’s All-Digital, Teen-Targeted ‘AHH Effect’ Campaign Proves AHH-ffective

It’s been almost six months since Coca-Cola launched its first ever teen-targeted, all-digital, content-based campaign, The AHH Effect, which has been continually releasing new “experiences” via multiple variations of www.ahh.com (each including one more “H” in its URL). Each site features “a teen-worthy moment of randomness, creativity and delight that’s best experienced from teens’ favorite gadgets – their mobile devices.” Just in the past month, 20 more AHH.com URLs have gone live.

In case the all-caps have confused you, the “AHH” in AHH Effect is not meant as a panicked scream, but as a satisfied sigh. Coke’s initial release about the campaign described it this way:

The AHH Effect” is that multidimensional feeling of happiness, satisfaction and delicious refreshment one experiences after drinking an ice-cold Coke. It’s been described as the sound a smile would make if smiles made sounds, and it’s the centerpiece of a new teen-focused program from Coca-Cola. Bringing to life 61 dimensions of ‘AHH’ through a range of digital experiences, from games and films to GIFs, the program showcases all of the qualities of Coke and positions the beverage as the ultimate refresher.”

Included in the latest batch of experiences are several created with some of Coca-Cola’s key customer partners, including McDonalds, AMC Theatres, Six Flags and 7-Eleven. The brands partnered to explore the AHH Effect, and used the same combination of “gamification” and whimsy that Coke used during the initial launch of the campaign. For instance, the experience created with Six Flags, “Don’t Spill The Coke,” is a fast-paced game in which users try to keep their Coca-Cola from tipping over while riding a rollercoaster.

A seriously clever campaign that touches on many things digital experts point to when dealing with teens: their love of mobile devices, short attention spans, and willingness to engage others in something that interests them. But is it working?

Statistics gathered by Coke would point to the AHH-firmative. Read more

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