So much for the Shrek promotion at McDonald’s. The fast-food chain is pulling 12 million Shrek cups from its restaurants because the paint used on the glasses to depict the lovable ogre and his friends is contaminated with low levels of cadmium, a toxic metal. Critics, of course, will argue that McDonald’s is experimenting with new ways to poison our children. Perhaps the only people happy about the recall are the Chinese. That’s because the cups were manufactured by ARC International in New Jersey. Or so we thought. CNN is now reporting that the cups were indeed made in China. “No surprise there,” quipped one CNN anchor.
Not so straight talk. McDonald’s France is running perhaps the first gay-themed commercial in the history of fast-food franchising. The 30-second spot is part of the “Come as You Are” campaign, which aims to recognize the diversity of McDonald’s customers in France. You can check it out here. For the most part, the McDonald’s ad is tasteful and understated (unlike its food). But with something this controversial, you can be sure there are plenty of critics on both sides of the political spectrum. Gay advocacy groups are bashing the ad because the young gay man in question is keeping his sexuality a secret from his father, who also appears in the spot. Meanwhile, on the right, blowhard Bill O’Reilly manages to connect the dots between homosexuality and terrorism. If McDonald’s wants to celebrate diversity, he argues, why don’t they make a commercial for Al Qaeda as well? “Trust me, this ad would never run in America,” he says. Perhaps not his America, but thankfully he’s in the minority these days.
Decent into donut hell. Running a franchise is a dream for many people. But for some, it can turn into a nightmare. That was certainly the case for Chris Zaborniak and his family, who purchased a Tim Horton’s donut franchise more than ten years ago and then watched their lives slowly disintegrate. You can read their story here. But be warned. It ain’t pretty.