The Power of Social Media – McDonalds and Pit-Bull Advocates
February 17, 2012 § Leave a comment
The power of social media strikes again! The pit-bull advocates’ community is in an uproar in response to McDonald’s newest radio spot, which states that petting a stray pit-bull is riskier than eating the company’s new Chicken McBites.
Rachele Lizarraga, a pit-bull advocate and social media coordinator for a pit-bull rescue started the “Pit Bulls against McDonald’s” facebook page. The page, which currently has 13,722 likes with over 2,750 people talking about it, generated a lot of buzz around the insensitive ad. The page features memes created by pit-bull owners, with images of their harmless pooches and slogans railing against McDonald’s and their radio ad. In addition to the facebook page, Lizarraga created an online petition to pull the ad.
According to AdAge, it only took McDonald’s two days to pull the ad and make a public apology, stating, “The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologize. As soon as we learned of it, we tracked the source and had the local markets pull the ad immediately. We’ll do a better job next time. It’s never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald’s.
AdAge brings up a great point—why would you associate your chicken nuggets with risk? Even if McDonalds is saying their chicken nuggets are safer then petting a stray pit-bull, isn’t associating your food with risk a poor advertising strategy? With the current general consensus that McDonald’s food is bad for us, why would the company take that perception a step further by associating their food with other “risky” behaviors? That sounds like a pretty half-baked advertising strategy if you ask me, even without the public backlash from pit-bull advocates.