By now you must have seen this ad.
McDonald’s, one of (if not) the biggest fast food chains in the world blatantly and irresponsibly disrespecting the pit bull.
Of course I called the number, and it was automated, and when I pressed the button regarding their ad, I got a recorded apology.
Yes this McDonald’s, the one with revenues of (I believe it says) 27 million dollars. Had a recorded message apologizing for inadvertently offending some of their customers.
“In our effort to spread the word about our new Chicken McBites, one of our local markets ran an ad that inadvertently offended some of our customers. The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologize. We are pulling the ad, and will review our creative screening process. It’s never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald’s.”
When I was in college I took a Public Relations class, I know who would have ever thought ME, of all people would be interested in Public Relations.
Part of the class was to look at two PR campaigns. One was successful, the other one wasn’t.
I won’t name the companies because I cannot remember the specifics of each case but they were both big name companies and both companies had to recall their products for health reasons.
The company that failed in their campaign recalled the product and then there was nothing further from the company until they had gotten to the source of the problem and resolved the issue.
The company that succeeded, recalled their product and then kept updating the public frequently as to where they were at in their investigation and how they were handling the issue to be certain it didn’t happen again.
Not surprisingly one company lost public confidence in their product and revenues fell, while the other one weathered the storm, with very little loss of revenues or confidence.
From a public relations point of view, (IMO) McDonald’s has handled this debacle all wrong. Yes, they did pull the ad and yes they did issue an apology, but it should have been BIGGER.
McDonald’s has a platform to make a difference and they could make a difference by making a LARGE contribution to Pit bull rescue and educating the public about the proper treatment and care for animals.
But then they might have to look into their own backyards and see how the animals they use for food are treated.
How childhood obesity is running unchecked today and how many of those kids eat at McDonald’s.
Frankly McDonald’s, I think the pit bull is safer and I’d rather pet one of them, then eat one of your chicken mcnuggets.
I’m sorry if I’ve inadvertently offended you McDonalds.
Call me, I’ll answer my phone personally.
Book Update: It’s like a Bob Seger song, “Still The Same.”