The ad, which ran in the Kansas City, Mo., area, said that eating its new Chicken McBites was less risky than petting a stray pit-bull, naming your son Sue or giving friends your Facebook password.
Pit-bull advocates felt the ad was offensive and played on stereotypes of the dogs. One particularly outraged pit-bull fan, Rachele Lizarraga, a social-media coordinator for a pit-bull rescue in California, started a Facebook page called "Pit Bulls Against McDonald's," and launched an online petition calling for the ad to be pulled.
The conversation spread through social media on Friday, and McDonald's pulled the ad, which only ran for a few days, saying it was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. In a statement, the company said: "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."
One wonders why McDonald's chose to lazily fall back on such a media-driven myth, one that 's been proven wrong time and again. One example: Many of the dogs tortured by Michael Vick (who's been hired by an NFL team and Nike -- that 's risky! Some of us no longer buy Nike products or go to Eagles games) are now in good homes NOT mauling people; at least one became a therapy animal. And surely it couldn't have escaped McD's that many of its consumers are dog owners. Another over-the-top example would've easily done the trick: Jumping into the lion enclosure at the zoo so you can get a better picture? Also risky!
At least the Golden Arches had the good grace to acknowledge its mistake, apologize and yank the ad. But the ad begs another question: Does any food company want to associate their food with any sort of risk, even if the ad is saying that eating the food is not risky? Is that appetizing?
What do you think about the radio ad? Was it insensitive to pit bulls, or are people overreacting? Leave your comments below.
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