McDonald's Advised to Fight or Fess Up

McDonald's Golden ArchesMcDonald's has been criticized by PR professionals for its response to the recent study by Stanford University School of Medicine and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital which found that young children preferred foods associated with the company's packaging. In a media statement (not available in its website), McDonald's spokesman Matt Riker tried to shift the focus away from the fast food giant, writing that "parents make the decisions for their children." PR consultant Eric Dezenhall opined that "you really can't attack a children's hospital." Instead, Dezenhall suggested the company should embrace the third party technique, using scientists or other experts to attack the study. Peter Sandman took the opposite tack, suggesting the company would be better off admitting its responsibility to children. The effect, he said, would be to "take the wind out of the sails of your critics by giving them some credit for the positive changes you've made."


I am not a fan of McDonalds. I did have an anal professor for research methodology. Actually, besides having plain wrappers and the McDonald's brand, they should have had a wrapper with some kind of neutral picture on it, such as a generic flower or non brand graphic just to make sure kids didn't pick something with a design (ANY design) over the plain wrapper. I didn't read the study itself, only the account here. From what I understand, they only had plain and brand wrappers. If it truly is the branding, and they added a non brand design, it would just strengthen their case. Strong methodology makes for strong arguments.

Good point. Yes the original study only presented those surveyed with two options. The details of the study are here and the accompanying media release is here