Health and nutrition experts everywhere are up in arms over the title sponsor role McDonald's Corporation is playing at the London Olympics.
I agree. The brazen Golden Arches gambit sends exactly the wrong message to the world's youth: aspire to be an Olympic athlete yourself one day, but keep hardening your arteries with our caloric-laden slop. Alas, money talks. And, doing the responsible thing walks. So the International Olympic Committee was only too happy to pocket McDonald's greasy cash.
To deflect the public outcry, Ronald & Co. launched an oh-so-obvious, oh-so-self-serving marketing effort entitled, 'Favorites Under 400 Calories.' It regroups the heart-attack-waiting-to-happen food offerings by promoting the few low cal treats on the menu such as the Fillet-O-Fish Sandwich and Oreo McFlurry (two items I'm sure every finalist in the 100-meter dash consumes on a daily basis).
I'd like to see the Olympic athletes send a message to the world's number one source of unhealthy food. How about:
– Using Ronald's mug as the bull's eye for the javelin competition? Extra points would be awarded for planting the spear right between the clown's eyes.
– Having shot-putters hurl their deadly (and oh-so-heavy) iron balls at carefully arranged rows of golden arches. The competitor who topples the most goes home with the Gold.
– And, Piccadilly Circus would feature a giant electronic computer screen that keeps track of the ever-increasing number of obese citizens around the world. Dubbed The McDeath Clock, the billboard would also contain QR codes visitors could scan and redeem for a free Quarter Pounder and fries.
If nothing else, the CEO of McDonald's should be awarded the Gold Medal for corporate mixed messaging. No organization does more to ensure new generations of unsuspecting eaters consume ALL the wrong food items. Yet, no other organization (save the tobacco companies) does a better, more disingenuous job of painting itself as a loving, adorable and caring concern. The London Olympics sponsorship is just the latest and most egregious example.