McDonald's Olympic Ads Fuel Backlash On Twitter

Mcdonalds-Store-AA2McDonald’s is spending $150 million by some accounts on exclusive worldwide sponsorship rights for the retail food services category at the London Olympics. But according to an analysis by WPP’s MediaCom covering the first week of competition, that investment is fueling a lot of negative sentiment on Twitter.

The “MediaCom Sport Olympic Twitter Tracker” says the fast-food giant ranks last among the 25 Olympic sponsors followed by the agency’s index.

Marcus John, global head of MediaCom Sport, the sports marketing unit that MediaCom formed last year, states that the poor rating is due to hugely negative sentiment about the “perceived contradiction of the brand's Olympic association given general health concerns” about the kinds of salty, sugary and fat-laden products McDonald's has on its menu.

John noted that the contradiction is “the dominant trend in conversation” about McDonald’s, “which coupled with the extensive reach of the brand, ensures the McDonald's score remains significantly negative.”

At the opposite end of the scale, Procter & Gamble emerged as top-ranked on the index. John noted that while P&G has “comparatively less reach across Twitter” than McDonald’s and other brands, more positive sentiment helped propel it to the top spot. 



P&G, said John, “attracts very little negative sentiment” compared to McDonald’s. Also helping its cause, John said, is the packaged-goods giant’s strategy placing “considerable emphasis on the digital aspect of its Olympic marketing campaign.” That has been reflected across social-media channels, including Twitter, "with popular content being widely shared," such as the ongoing “Thank You Mom” ad campaign.

MediaCom Sport’s Twitter Tracker considers all mentions of the 25 sponsors on the social network but gives extra weight to those from the UK, where the games are being held. The rankings are calculated by a proprietary methodology that considers sentiment, engagement of commenters and potential reach of comments being made.

MediaCom’s Twitter Tracker analysis is based on data collected by Brandwatch, the social-media monitoring firm.

2 comments about "McDonald's Olympic Ads Fuel Backlash On Twitter".
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  1. Gail Albertiny from Carat-Aegis Media, August 8, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.

    It's interesting to note - McDonalds now have several items on their menu that they have branded as under "400 calories"! Maybe this is the start of changing the public perception of this "fast food" giant!

  2. Apryl Dervay from Adworkshop, August 10, 2012 at 9 a.m.

    Yes - they do have a new menu with items under 400 calories - but that does not make these items nutritious. For example, their new oatmeal is on this list, but it also contains more sugar than a Snickers candy bar. Their smoothies (under 400 cals) are also packed with sugar. I tend to agree that it does seem contradictory, and find it hard to believe that any Olympic athlete would have any item from McDonald's in their training diet.

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