When will people accept that McDonald’s just doesn’t give a shit? … and you shouldn’t either.
Case in point: A bright-eyed activist Michelle Dyre, who just completed her internship at Corporate Accountability International, a consumer advocacy group that routinely criticizes McDonald’s for marketing to kids, accused the fast-food giant of predatory marketing in minority markets, contributing to the obesity epidemic amongst African-Americans.
“Especially outrageous is McDonald’s targeting children of color,” she said during the Q&A session. “Children of color are already more likely to live in environments where healthy food is less available. That they are more likely to develop diet-related diseases than their white counterparts should be no surprise considering how McDonald’s overwhelmingly targets them with predatory marketing.”
Sounds plausible, right? What BET viewer can forget those repugnant “McNugget Love” commercials …
In response, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson delivered a pointed retort to her and other critics Thursday morning: “The way you describe us is not who we are.”
Ad Age reported this story from McDonald’s annual stockholder’s meeting, you know, the setting where people are counting on McDonald’s execs to “penetrate” “untapped” and “emerging” markets with cunning ads, product placement, and strategic endorsements. Raise your hand if you can’t wait until the next McDonald’s 365 Awards!
It was reported that Thompson said that the race-based criticism “hits close to home.” Growing up in what is now an urban war zone, Chicago’s North Side, Thompson evoked his rags to riches story in front of a standing room-only audience, showing his benevolence towards the unfortunate masses still trapped in the ghetto … I get it, the whole “I grew up in the neighborhood” story.
Criticism of McDonald’s coarsened at point when a 9-year-old named Hannah — the daughter of health-food blogger Kia Robertson — bluntly stated, “It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.” Boom!
“We are not the cause of obesity,” Thompson retorted back to Hannah, who he called “brave” for articulating her point. “We are not marketing unjustly to kids. Ronald is not a bad guy. … He’s about fun.”