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Home > Culture and Society

Rebranding a McTurd

15 October 2004

Apparently it's got nothing whatsoever to do with the adverse publicity of Supersize Me, and nothing whatsoever to do with falling profits (a mere 23m last year), but today puke-peddling shit-burger-kings McDonald's are launching a new advertising campaign.

But never mind that. Did you hear the one about the 121 people who got violently ill earlier this month in Piqua, Ohio? Turns out they'd all had a McDonald's shake from the same branch. A staphylococcus shake. Ugh. One unlucky victim told the press, 'When you're constantly puking up blood and it's coming out both ends and it drags on for four days and your headache constantly hurts, that's a constant reminder of the three dollar milk shake you just had.' Now there's a strapline. 'The shake you won't forget in a hurry.' 'The shake you can't shake off.' 'The shake that makes your insides bleed.' They're all good.

Anyway, yes, so, back to this temporary rebranding. Apparently they're dropping the golden arches for this campaign and replacing them with a giant golden bucket full of puke and shit and blood. No, just kidding. Instead, they're replacing them with a question mark. The question mark will sit aside beautiful mouth-watering close-up photographs of healthy-looking salad and well-lit chunks of fruit. And beneath them the strapline that takes the tease out of the campaign: 'McDonald's. But not as you know it.' Hmm. They really are clean out of ideas.

But never mind that. Tomorrow, in case you didn't know, is the 20th annual Worldwide Anti-McDonald's Day - 'a protest against the promotion of junk food, the unethical targeting of children, exploitation of workers, animal cruelty, damage to the environment and the global domination of corporations over our lives.' So if you're out and about tomorrow and you happen to see a bunch of committed individuals handing out 'What's Wrong with McDonald's?' leaflets, take one. If you still eat McDonald's yourself - what kind of masochistic moron are you? - read the leaflet, think of your liver and your libido if nothing else, then stop. If you don't eat it, pass the leaflet on to one of your masochistic moron friends who still do.

Apparently, over three million 'What's Wrong With McDonald's?' leaflets have been handed out in the UK since 1990. Depressingly, the new 'It's poison, Jim...' question mark campaign will be backed up with glossy McBooklets featuring the new super-healthy menus which will be distributed to 17 million households. Which kind of puts McDonald's wealth into perspective.

But - and despite other stories this week boasting of a larger- than-expected third-quarter rise in earnings, there is a but - last year's 23 million represented a fall in profits of 71%. So the McBehemoth is wounded. It's been hit. For all its low-fat salad dressings and its yoghurt, it is falling to its knees. It can die. If people keep plugging away, it can die. So do your bit to help kill it.

Don't eat McDonald's.

It's shit.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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