How Tacky Can the Golden Arches Get?

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

How Tacky Can the Golden Arches Get?

McDonald's is scrambling, and I'm not talking about eggs. Your know your business has what image consultants call "quality perception issues" when you have to launch a PR initiative that publicly addresses such questions as: "Does McDonald's beef contain worms?"

Thornier yet for the world's largest burger machine is its boneheaded response to the remarkable, ongoing rebellion by fast food workers, who're demanding a $15-an-hour wage and the freedom to unionize without corporate retaliation. McDonald's responded by – guess what? – retaliating. Big Mac managers illegally reduced the hours (and therefore the pay) of hundreds of those who joined the "Fight For 15" campaign, and many managers also spied on workers, interrogated and threatened them, and imposed restrictions on their freedom even to talk about unions or working conditions.

The corporation now faces federal charges on hundreds of labor law violations – as well as facing rising customer anger over its ham-handed tactics. Naturally, McDonald's responded by apologizing and raising wages.

Ha! Just kidding. Instead, it's running a new series of TV ads that, astonishingly, tries to tap into people's emotions about such tragic events as 9/11, as well as linking its logo to people's positive feelings about veterans, birthdays, and even "love." McD's corporate marketing director explains that the ads are all about the Golden Arches shining brightly in every community, being with us through the good and the bad. As she puts it, "Who better to stand up for lovin' than McDonald's?"

Huh? She should ask protesting workers about the "love" they're getting from McDonald's. Oh, to be fair, the bosses did make one change for workers – new uniforms, supposedly to buff-up the corporation's public image. That's not just boneheaded, it's pathetic!

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This has been reposted from Jim Hightower's website.

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

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