McDonald's Misdirection

It seems that the constant attacks on the dietary deficencies at McDonald's have the corporation concerned enough to counterattack:

McDonald's on Monday will kick off a two-day media event to tout the quality of its food and combat critics who say its burgers and fries are unhealthy.

New print ads tout McDonald's "top quality USDA eggs" and "high-quality chicken", and the company already has a Balanced Lifestyles initiative to promote physical activity.

High-profile attacks on McDonald's in recent years, such as the 2004 film, "Super Size Me," have accused the company of contributing to the United States' obesity problems with products like the Big Mac, whose 30 grams of fat are equal to about half the government's recommended daily amount.

McDonald's in recent months has blamed the poor image of its food among British consumers for a falloff in sales in Britain. To prevent that from spreading further, one marketing expert said the company wants to shift the focus away from its burgers' fat and calorie content.

"Maybe if people think they have this terrific quality, then they'll forget about the calories and the fat," said Jack Trout, president of marketing strategy firm Trout & Partners. "Will it fix it with the naysayers? No. But what it will do is present more of a rationale for the people who take their kids to this place."

Perhaps counterattack is the wrong word. This new marketing scheme is probably better described as misdirection. Although the company says that the new campaign is targeted at "the perception that McDonald's burgers are filled with additives and other non-beef ingredients," that is really a side issue to the problems with the nutritional content of the food. Perhaps a few of the critics are worried about bacteria. But most are concerned about grease, oil, fat, and outrageously sized portions. Poison mixed from the finest natural ingredients is still poison.