Sunday, January 20, 2008

De-supersized

Just a follow-up to my post a month or so ago called "Supersize My Report Card." If you read the post, you know that McDonald's was sponsoring the printing of report cards in Seminole County, Florida, in return for advertising on the report card covers.

Advertising Age reports this week that McDonald's has voluntarily pulled its sponsorship of the report cards (and thereby its coupons from the covers). A PR rep said McDonald's is pulling the ads because the company believes the focus should instead be on getting a good education. (Novel idea.) Read the article here: "McDonald's Pulls Ads from Florida Report Cards."

Interesting that all this sponsorship business happened AFTER McDonald's signed the Better Business Bureau's Children Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. (Read about it here.) The initiative is meant to encourage companies to create healthier food options and to reduce companies' advertising to children. Oops.

But hey, the school district approached McDonald's for the sponsorship. McDonald's approached the school district for its termination. You've got to give them that. Even though we all know McDonald's pulled the sponsorship because of the bad press the company was getting the longer the story stayed in the news. Either way, backing out was the right decision on McDonald's part, from both a crisis communications standpoint and a branding standpoint -- and for the general welfare of the kids, too.

Well-played, McDonald's. Well-played. If only you'd refused the report card sponsorship in the first place -- now THAT would have shown corporate responsibility. Maybe next time.

1 comment:

daviso said...

I'll have a #2 with a shake please. Is that a standard for healthy pregger munchies? :-)