Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Impact of Public Affairs Management and Public Opinion

Those who may be inclined to think of PR as fluff need only look at the recent decision by McDonalds and other fast-food companies to eliminate “super size” menu options. A groundswell of public unrest surrounding the ever-worsening health issue of obesity was principally and tangibly responsible for the firms’ decisions to quit promoting super-size portions. The movement was capped by the release of an “indie” film (released at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival), entitled “Super Size Me.” Incidentally, the film was produced and directed by West Virginia native Morgan Spurlock. The film chronicles a month-long project in which Spurlock consumed only food from McDonalds and experienced significant, negative health consequences. Not surprisingly, the company stated that its decision to eliminate super-size menu items had nothing to do with Spurlock’s film.

"If there's one thing we could accomplish with the film, it is that we make people think about what they put in their mouth," Spurlock said. "So the next time you do go into a fast-food restaurant and they say, 'Would you like to upsize that?' you think about it and say, 'Maybe I won't. Maybe I'll stick with the medium this time.'"

Did Spurlock’s one-man, issue advocacy crusade work?

You decide.


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