McDonald’s just wanted customers to have a “hot meal for a hot date.”
The new McDonald’s meal bundle featuring rap couple Cardi B and Offset has been receiving some pushback from franchisees.
According to Bloomberg, some owners argue that using the rappers in its advertisements violates the chain’s “Golden Arches Code,” a global set of marketing, advertising, legal, and trademark policies all McDonald’s franchisees, employees, agencies, and suppliers must adhere to.
A 2021 copy of the marketing code states that “Partnerships with celebrities and influencers that have potential risk to damage our brand based on statements they have made or their positions on certain issues” aren’t permitted. “Music partnerships associated with content that includes offensive language in the lyrics,” were stated as forbidden in the copy.
“It’s kind of a culture-shock thing when you consider the McDonald’s brand over the years,” former franchise owner and consultant Dick Adams said. “Especially if you’re a franchisee and you’re 50 or 60 years old and you don’t have any kids and haven’t been exposed to any types of these lyrics.”
when i say go share the Cardi B & Offset meal today, this is what i mean pic.twitter.com/sovhLntHp9
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) February 14, 2023
“I have talked to many franchisees who are concerned about it, but it’s good for sales and corporate endorses it,” Adams said, adding that he doesn’t think there is a lot of pushback.
The concerned franchisees believe the rappers are putting the corporation at risk because the rappers’ music contains profanity and sexual content. McDonald’s said the corporation is careful in avoiding the use of offensive language, and the new marketing is driving sales and accumulating a new generation of customers.
“We’re focused on putting McDonald’s at the center of culture,” Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and customer experience officer for the U.S. market, said in a statement. “Cardi and Offset are an iconic couple who have their own date-night tradition at McDonald’s that goes back years. We’re proud to share a little piece of that.”
The 2,175-calorie Cardi B & Offset Meal Bundle includes a cheeseburger, side of BBQ sauce, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, large fries, two large drinks, and an apple pie.