McDonald's Pampers Bloggers in Exchange for Positive Posts
Is McDonald's trying to bribe bloggers?
McDonald's is assembling a group of 400-some bloggers who will reportedly receive free gifts and all-expenses paid parties in exchange for praiseful posts about the company.
Sounds a bit like bribery, one would say.
Using the powers of social media branding, McDonald’s PR consultant Josh Ainsfeld touted the initiative as a way to target ordinary people it can “teach” to become advocates on networking sites like Facebook.
The fast-food corporation has been targeted as the main culprit for increasing rates of obesity in America for decades. There’s even a term for it: the McDonaldization of society: the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of American society as well as of the rest of the world. (George Ritzer, 1993)
Despite its reputation, a healthy-living marketing campaign helped led to sales gains in recent years. And the mega-chain most recently became the top tier sponsor of the 2012 Olympics, in which it will build its largest location ever and operate it for six weeks during the games – a move many critics took issue with.
[Also Read: McDonald's Removes Fries From Dollar Menu]
The blogger initiative will be rolled out within the year in the UK.
This isn’t the first time McDonald's has appealed to bloggers. Last year, it called forth mommy bloggers, who were compensated for participating in its ‘Wholesome Choices” program — an overhaul of its Happy Meal offerings. In 2010, the company flew 15 bloggers to Chicago, put them up in a grand hotel and gave them a tour of the company's headquarters in Oak Brook.
Now that’s bribery at its best.