Background

Perhaps more than any other U.S. corporation, McDonald's has built a reputation as a company that caters to and cares about families: The Ronald McDonald mascot and Ronald McDonald House charities, as well as child-friendly restaurants and menus communicate to consumers that this is a chain that cares about families. But McDonalds’ recent advertising practices have demonstrated a blatant disregard for the families that have made it so successful.

As recently as 2007, McDonald's was ranked as one of the ten best television sponsors. But for the past three years, McDonald's has ranked among the worst.

McDonald's can’t justify this change in advertising behavior by saying that it has helped their bottom line. It hasn’t. In fact, in the time since McDonald's started buying time on edgier programs, their sales started to fall off! If you agree that this programming is a poor fit for the McDonald's brand; if you agree that McDonald's should not promote itself as a family company while supporting such patently offensive content; if you agree that McDonald's should return to supporting family-friendly programming with its advertising dollars, take action now.

- Letter  to McDonald's about TV content (sent April 4, 2014)
- Open Letter to McDonald's (Blog: January 28, 2014)
- McDonald's Learns Foul Programming = Less $$$ (Blog: July 25, 2013)

Benefits of Responsible Advertising
America’s biggest retailer, Walmart conducted its own research and found that positive programming is good for brands. Walmart found an 18% improvement in performance of an ad when the ad was placed in a positive program versus negative. In other words, if marketers get $5.00 in sales for every dollar of advertising, those sales could be $5.90 simply by ensuring that their ads run on positive programming.

Studies & Articles
- Violence and Sex Impair Memory for TV ads
- Sex and violence? It may not sell soap, after all
- Alliance for Family Entertainment Proprietary Research Findings (Quantifying the Return on Investment of family-oriented programming on advertising effectiveness, brand purchase intent and brand equity)
- Effects of Television Violence on Memory for Commercial Messages

Take Action!