Monday, June 18, 2007

Make Up Your Own Mind

Ever wonder how McDonald's would answer questions like,

"Why do you target children with unhealthy foods when there is an obesity crisis already?"
"Isn't the high level of advertising aimed directly at children questionable and unfair on parents?"
Well then have I got the site for you: Make Up Your Own Mind is actually a McDonald's website run out of the UK where you're allowed to submit any question you want and McDonald's will "answer" it.

I put the word "answer" in quotations because the sites answers are just empty spin doctored responses.

For instance, here's McDonald's answer to the targeting children with unhealthy foods question,
"McDonald’s has always been aware of the context in which it operates and the need for it to meet the requirements of society and customers in the food and experience that it provides. That’s why over recent years, the company has added new choices to its menu, such as Organic Semi-Skimmed Milk, Orange Juice, Vittel Water, Fruit Bags and Carrot Sticks, changed the recipes of popular food items such as Chicken McNuggets to reduce salt, fat and sugar and introduced better nutritional information without undermining the great taste that people know and love. You may be aware that the Food Standards Agency has devised a nutritional model that profiles food by its fat, salt and sugar content and will inform which products can or can’t be advertised directly to children. The majority of Happy Meal items (with the exception of the Cheeseburger, Milkshakes and non-diet fizzy drinks) are all rated as not being high in fat, salt and sugar."
The site's actually a hoot. The questions certainly are candid and the responses really demonstrate the need to duck and bob. Try to think how you might, as corporate McDonald's, answer these questions (taken directly from the site):

  • How is it that the pictures above the counter in your restaurants look so much better than the food that you supply your customers with? Isn't this blatant misrepresentation?

  • did u know that your products contain too much salt, sugar and fats? and that all that is not good for our physical bodies?

  • if you ate McDonald's everyday could you die

  • On t.v a man ate McDonald's for a whole month and he died. I think it would just kill people if they ate it more than 1 every 2 days. Is it true that your food is full of badness?

  • Why is it that it has taken the rather large amount of bad publicity for your food to actually start you looking at your menu's? Isn't it just reactive? when surely you have a responsibility to be proactive?

  • Why do you think you have such a bad reputation - and I mean terrible, you are reviled, ridiculed and abhorred - among educated people int his country (UK)?

  • More people die each year from illnesses relating to obesity than those relating to smoking. Tobacco companies are banned from advertising but McDonald's are not, whats more the obesity is actively encouraged by way of the 'Make your meal bigger' promotions. How do you feel about this? Guilt?

  • Anyone know how I could submit, "Answer writer for Make Up Your Own Mind" as a suggestion for a feature on that Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs? Those folks' arms must be pythons from slinging so much bullsh*t.

    [Hat Tip: Stefan]