When you think of being kind to animals, McDonald’s doesn’t exactly pop up in your head I’m sure. PETA has named the fast food giant ‘McCruelty,’ and the Humane Society has claimed that animal cruelty is behind McDonald’s ‘McRib’ sandwich. Celebs, including Ryan Gosling and Zooey Deschanel, joined in and asked McDonald’s to at least start buying free-range eggs after Mercy For Animals’ investigation of their egg supplier, Sparboe Farms, uncovered horrific cruelty.
Now, McDonald’s has added another reason for animal-lovers to say “I’m not lovin’ it.” According to Huffington Post, a recent radio ad compared their new Chicken McBites to things that McDonald’s called risky behaviors, including “shaving your head,” “naming your son Sue,” “giving your friends your Facebook password” and “petting a stray pit bull.” As you can imagine, pit bull lovers were not too pleased with the implication that petting one of the dogs is dangerous.
The ad ran for a few days in the Kansas City area before being taken off the air, but it got a massive response. A toll-free number was set up with McDonald’s recorded apology message from rep, Ashlee Yingling: “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.”
The Facebook campaign, Pit Bulls Against McDonald’s, was started by Chako Pit Bull Rescue’s social media coordinator Rachele Lizarraga, who called the ad “extremely offensive and reckless.” The page has been liked by over 9,000 Facebook users. Some are demanding that McDonald’s donate to pit bull organizations, but Lizarraga said, “We are just asking them to promote positive pit bull imagery. We are not asking for donations. I don’t think that should be a demand. It was stupid marketing, playing into the media hysteria about pit bulls.”
Laura Goldman, senior editor for ilovedogs.com, also spoke out in support of pit bulls in response to the ad, saying “It made me really angry. It seemed like a stupid advertising campaign, insinuating eating their food is risky. I would rather pet a million stray pit bulls that eat one pink slimy Chicken McBite.” In case you haven’t seen the “pink slime” that becomes McDonald’s chicken nuggets, this is what Goldman is reffering to. Now that looks pretty risky!
You can listen to the McDonald’s ad below.