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McDonald's Takes Back Its Awesome Gift to the Media

Embarrassing McResource Site Is Now, Sadly, McGone

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If you were traveling or doing some last-minute shopping in the days before Christmas, you may have missed the news that "Posts on McDonald's employee site bash fast food," as CNBC, which broke the story, gently put it. This amounted to an unexpected Christmas gift to the rest of the media, which quickly re-reported the CNBC scoop, but typically had a little more fun in the headline department. For instance: "McDonald's Tells Workers To Avoid Fast Food" (The Huffington Post), "McWhoops: McDonald's tells workers to avoid fast food" (CBS News) and "McDonald's to workers: Don't eat our food!" (New York Post).

A screen shot from the now-removed McResource Line site, as captured by CNBC
A screen shot from the now-removed McResource Line site, as captured by CNBC

Well, sadly, the party's over. McDonald's has taken down the web presence of the McResource Line. The site, which apparently included outsourced, boilerplate employee-resource advice, had been the gift that kept on giving; earlier in the year it also made headlines -- for dispensing inappropriate and entirely tone-deaf financial advice. See, for example "McDonald's to Employees: Low on Cash? Sell Your Stuff and Eat Less," from November, and "McDonald's to Employees: Get a Second Job or Drop Dead," from July (both of those saucy headlines are from Gawker).

Why pull the site now? A McDonald's spokeswoman has been supplying this slightly testy statement to the media this morning:

We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald's employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we've directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald's team members. We'll continue to provide service to them through an internal telephone help line, which is how the majority of employees access the McResource services.

Unless you were a McDonald's employee, you never got to see the McResource site. So, for old time's sake, here -- taken (cruelly) out of context -- is some of what you missed:

While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.

And:

It is hard to eat a healthy diet when you eat at fast-food restaurants often.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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