A Nugget of Bad PR From McDonald’s. Are You Hungry?

February 9, 2010

Although from the title of this post you may think the topics are linked, they’re not. Two observations, same day, and I wanted to rant. First, the golden arches.

In case you’ve been on another planet or simply were not aware, food from McDonald’s and the likes, is not good for you. In fact it’s slowly killing millions of Americans each year; far more than any terrorist group. But apparently Ronald and Co. aren’t satisfied with clogging billions of arteries, they also find it necessary to take money away from the Special Olympics. Aghast? Me too. Here’s the scoop.

Meet 19 year-old Lauren McClusky, a student at Boston University. For the past three years McClusky
has organized a charity concert called McFest that features high school and college bands, with proceeds going to the Chicago Chapter of the Special Olympics. So what’s the beef? Well McDonald’s got pissed when Lauren attempted to register the name – McFest – with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008, and filed a challenge claiming ownership to the “Mc” – even though it’s the prefix to her last name. So far she’s spent $5,000. responding to McDonald’s challenge and a court date is set for December. Mickey D’s wants her to change the name of the event because they feel it could link their empire to the charitable event. And the problem is….? Greedy bastards.

“Are you hungry?. We’re looking for a group that’s hungry and wants to help a start-up thrive. So, is BPR hungry?,” asked the eager man from the just-funded company on the other end of the line. What is it with this “hungry” term and why do so many companies like to use it as a euphemism instead of just saying “Here’s the deal: we want a ton of work, but we’re barely able to pay for it.” I get that companies are being more mindful of their marketing budgets and want to make their dollars last. But why disguise it with the whole hungry thing? Free yourselves – call a spade a spade. I’m all for bargaining – there is beauty in the art of the deal. Everybody wins, and everyone gives a little – that’s good business.

At BPR we’ve helped dozens of companies over the past 12 years get off the ground, while working with varied budgets. This is a classic case of give-and-take and everybody goes home happy. And since we always kick-ass on the work, our clients love to refer us to their friends. Eager to please? Totally. Hungry? Well…we’re always up for a good meal if that’s what you’re asking.


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