Finally, McDonald's Story Can Be Told

"McDonald's had a great story to tell, and we weren't telling it," said Mike Donahue, McDonald's U.S. communications head. In 2002, Donahue "held a summit of the 125 PR firms that work with McDonald's and its various owner-operators," encouraging them to promote company-financed studies on the chain's positive economic impact. Donahue, "an adherent of using third-party endorsers," also influenced McDonald's "exercise and lifestyle" message. "McDonald's aligned itself with Paul Newman as it introduced its new salads," and worked with Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer on the "Go Active! American Challenge with Bob Greene." Go Active! is credited with helping "defuse negative publicity from the film Super Size Me."