Monday, March 10, 2008

Has Corporate Responsibility "Jumped The Shark?"

"If you've got a pulse, you can flip a freeze-dried beef patty."

That's the non-discriminatory message behind McDonald's new ad in Sweden (click the image to read the body copy). It seems that McDick's wants to make it very clear that anyone can be an ingredient in their special sauce. And perhaps, subliminally, that they come with a side of capitalistic opportunity (the ad looks an awful lot like a certain award-winning campaign for a certain Capatilist Tool).

But is this ad really enhancing McDonald's image? Honestly, as an American, Swede or Somali, would you really suddenly find this company any less of a bohemoth? Any less of an assembly line? Any
more of a good corporate citizen?

Instead, the greater question asked in this post from The Daily Ad Biz is: Is corporate responsibility cost of entry for companies today? Are citizens of the world now demanding you be "green," treat workers fairly, help contribute to local communities and economies, etc. Or, has the corporate responsibility concept in advertising simply gone too far? I hope it's the former...and somewhat lament that we even have to be so cynical as to question every good intention/action. It's kinda sad that big business has screwed the common man so often as to make us doubt if there are any good companies still out there (and there are plenty!). Then again, if you saw an ad like this from Japan, you might be skeptical and scared of McDonald's, too.

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