2012年1月6日 星期五

McDonald’s farmyard ads draw fire

2012年01月06日 13:38 PM
McDonald’s farmyard ads draw fire
英國《金融時報》 艾倫•拉貝波特紐約報導

McDonald's faces accusations of “farm washing” as the world's largest restaurant chain by revenues seeks to harness the growing local food movement and stem criticism about its food quality with a US advertising blitz featuring pastoral farmyard settings.

麥當勞(McDonald's)正面臨“粉飾農場”(farm washing)的指責。這家按營收計算全球最大的餐飲連鎖店在美國發起的一輪廣告戰中,推出了幾款悠閒的田園風光廣告,以期遏制日益壯大的“本地食品”運動,並阻止外界對其食品質量的批評。

The company has faced withering criticism in recent years over the beef content in its burgers, the fat in its fries, its marketing to children and the way its suppliers treat their animals. In three ads launched this week, McDonald's is showcasing a lettuce farmer, a potato farmer and a cattle rancher as part of an effort to change misconceptions about its food.


“We've got our work cut out for us,” said Danya Prou​​d, a McDonald's spokeswoman. “We've struggled for several years with the perception of our food. People don't think we use real ingredients.”

麥當勞女發言人丹妮亞•普勞德(Danya Prou​​d)表示:“我們的工作非常難做,多年來我們一直努力想改變外界對我們食品的看法。人們認為我們的食品原料不是天然的。”

The theatrical ads feature bucolic scenes of family farmers and grazing cows enjoying sunshine and roaming freely. But critics of McDonald's have already hit out at the campaign, accusing the company of being disingenuous and falsely implying that the food is not heavily processed.


Andy Bellatti, a Seattle-based nutritionist, said McDonald's fries were more “farm to lab” than farm to fork.

西雅圖營養學家安迪•貝拉蒂(Andy Bellatti)表示,與其說麥當勞的炸薯條是從農場到餐桌,還不如說是“從農場到實驗室”。

“This means to distract from conversations they don't want to have,” said Mr Bellatti. “It creates this romanticised pastoral idea that McDonald's mass produced French fries are no different than going to a farmer's market, buying a potato and frying it in a pan in your home.”


Corporate Accountability International, a watchdog group, said the McDonald's ads were misleading and were another example of the company's aggressive approach to advertising.


“The reality is that no corporation is more central to telling farmers to grow an inordinate amount of food that is bad for both people's health and the environment,” said Sara Deon, a director at CAI.

CAI的董事薩拉•德翁(Sara Deon)表示:“實際情況是,任何企業都不會像麥當勞那樣,要求農民大量生產對人類健康和環境都有害的食品。”

Even Steve Foglesong, an Illinois cattle rancher featured in one of the McDonald's ads, acknowledged that his beef was well tr​​avelled before it ended up the restaurants.

就連參演麥當勞廣告的伊利諾斯州牧場主史蒂夫•福格爾桑(Steve Foglesong)也承認,他的牛肉在送到餐館前也已兜了好大一個圈子。

“We don't exactly back the truck up to McDonald's,” Mr Foglesong said. “Products go to a processor ​​and they in turn sell it to McDonald's. When you slice and dice a steer, it can end up in half a dozen different countries.”


In spite of the criticism, some analysts commended the effort by McDonald's. Sara Senatore, restaurant analyst at Bernstein Research, argues that the company is following a similar strategy that was successful in Europe after the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak and that McDonald's is working to respond to concerns about the safety of its supply chain.

儘管批評之聲不絕於耳,但一些分析師讚揚了麥當勞作出的努力。伯恩斯坦研究公司(Bernstein Research)的餐廳分析師薩拉•塞納托雷(Sara Senatore)辯稱,麥當勞採取的策略與其在歐洲爆發口蹄疫後成功採取的策略差不多,它正在努力回應外界對其供應鏈安全的擔憂。

In the US, fears over fast food safety rose two years ago when McDonald's and other hamburger chains acknowledged using meat fillers that were soaked in ammonia to kill pathogens. Last November, McDonald's said it would stop purchasing eggs from Sparboe Farms after the supplier was found violating sanitation and animal cruelty rules.


For its part, McDonald's said it was responding to greater consciousness from customers about where food comes from and that it wanted to be more transparent.