McDonald’s Stands Firm as Brit Advertisers Pull Meat Ads in Foot & Mouth Epidemic

02 April 2001

Two major TV advertisers have withdrawn their meat campaigns as food and mouth disease continues to spread across Britain.

Supermarket chain Waitrose decided this weekend to pull an imminent campaign highlighting the ‘special relationship’ it claims to enjoy with farmers supplying its stores directly with meat: “It was inappropriate to be transmitting images celebrating the success of the country and the achievements of the farming industry in the present atmosphere,” said a company spoke.

Similarly, the Meat and Livestock Commission cancelled its generic campaign for British lamb this Easter. It has already pulled commercials promoting beef. According to the Commission’s John Bullock [sic]: “We felt the campaign was inappropriate given the distressing pictures of funeral pyres.”

But such sensitivity was not shared by US fast food giant McDonald’s, which denied it is to cancel a £5m TV campaign. “We have planned promotions running at the moment. We move dates around as with any marketing.” Nor, insisted the spoke, had the chain’s budgeted adspend changed. The pandemic had not impacted discernibly on sales of meat products, he said.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)