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Friday, September 08, 2006

NEWS: 'McHummer ok' say McDonalds

Corporate social responsibility through the eyes of Vice President, Bob Langert on using Hummers as giveaway toys at McDonalds, something seized upon by the Ronald McHummer site:

Our company, including my staff, is deeply committed to the whole scope of corporate responsibility issues, including environmental protection. So I polled my staff who have or had children. One of them said her children enjoy the little Hummer replicas as toys, just as many kids like toy trucks, regardless of make or model. She drives a MiniCooper, walks with her children to get groceries, bicycles with them on weekends, etc. Another said her grandchildren absolutely love the toy Hummers--that they're fun.

Of course, there's nothing scientific about this poll, but I think it makes an important point. Looked at through children's eyes, the miniature Hummers are just toys, not vehicle recommendations or a source of consumer messages about natural resource conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.

The Judge in the UKs longest ever Libel trial, McLibel, ruled
that they [McDonalds] 'exploit children' with their advertising, produce 'misleading' advertising

My thoughts: Of course giving away a Hummer affects kids as they are more likely to think that Hummers are socially acceptable. And the picture on the giveaway box shows Hummers riding roughshod over the environment. Not exactly eco-friendly.

That is why McDonalds would never give away a toy gun with a meal. Right? Because guns do not dovetail with McDonalds social policy I would hope and accept.

Thanks to EnviroBlog for breaking this news to me.



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At 5:38 PM, Blogger merrick said...

You're dead right about how toys normalise bhaviours and objects for children. I'd like to see that McDonald's schmuck answer your point about toy weapons.

However, the real deal here is their commitment to corporate social responsibility. CSR is simply refined greenwash. A corporation is obliged to maximise profits for its shareholders. Any 'social responsibililty' is done with the maximum publicity and the minimum cost in order improve the legitimacy and profits of the corporation.

It was pioneered by Shell in the wake of their Brent Spar/Ken Saro-Wiwa year. Just look at the companies who do the most prominient CSR reports; fast food, banks, oil. Tells you all you need to know in itself.

Corporate Watch recently produced a staggeringinly good report on CSR, lifting the lid on how it started, how it works and how it is all a scam to deflect criticism from those who deserve it. It's online here


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