Easterbrook imbroglio will blight McDonald’s marketing

Here’s a poser for Burger King. When you’ve spent the past few years aiming potshots at your bigger rival, how do you respond when it hands you all the ammunition you’ve ever dreamed of on a plate?

The current imbroglio at McDonald’s over former CEO Steve Easterbrook is surely such a case. Easterbrook (above), who left McDonald’s a year or so ago, because of a “consensual, non-sexual” relationship (seemed a bit harsh at the time but McDs has its “values”) is now accused of all sorts of hanky panky with several others, including nude photos and juicy share options.

This is a full-on crisis for McDonald’s; any ad or other commercial communication in living memory is likely to find itself the subject of unwelcome jokes on social media. Anything it tries to say in its upcoming ads will be gone over with a fine tooth comb to weed out any lurking innuendo. It will make Ronald McDonald’s travails look like child’s play (sorry, they were.)

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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