Food Safety

Mac Attack Down Under

In Australia, McDonald's launched an unprecedented, multi-million dollar advertising and PR campaign to counter the release of the US documentary "Super Size Me," which follows filmmaker Morgan Spurlock on a month long McDonald's binge. Until recently, the fast-food giant chose to ignore the hit movie. But McDonald's now fears for its reputation.


Super Surprise Me

IGN FilmForce, a movie review website, took a look at the PR battle against Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock's documentary about the 30 days he spent eating nothing but meals from McDonald's. "Over the course of three days this week, IGN FilmForce came across three separate press releases, from three different organizations, all extolling the 'truth' about how the new documentary film Super Size Me distorts the fact," they report.


Dying for a Bacon-Wrapped Cheeseburger

Saying "he was seduced 'with a bacon-wrapped cheeseburger'," Florida millionaire Jody Gorran filed a lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals and the estate of the late Dr. Atkins. Gorran required surgery to open a 99 percent blocked coronary artery after following the high-fat, high-protein Atkins diet for two years.


First, Do No Harm

"As food companies look for ways to cash in on the nation's obsession with healthy eating, an increasing number are copying marketing tactics that long have been used by the pharmaceuticals industry: They are pitching their products directly to doctors. The hope is that doctors will start recommending specific foods - and even brand names - to patients," reports the Wall Street Journal.


Would You Like Fries With That?

Low-carb diets, the demise of the McDonald's Supersize menu, and even mad cow disease have hurt the market for potatoes, so spud growers are fighting back. "The National Potato Promotion Board (NPPB) recently launched a $4.5 million campaign that mixes print advertising, public relations and partnerships with weight-loss groups to educate consumers about the healthy benefits of potatoes," reports the Associated Press. According to NPPB president Tim O'Connor, "There's nothing anyone can do about McDonald's deciding to eliminate its Supersize. ...


Counter-Attack of the Killer Clowns

As the anti-fast food documentary "Super Size Me" hits theaters, McDonald's is fighting back. "We're responding aggressively because the film is a gross misrepresentation," said a company spokesperson. Helping defend McDonald's are "global nutritionist" Cathy Kapica and the corporate-funded American Council on Science and Health.


US Obesity Expands PR Budgets

"The United States spent $75.1 billion last year on medical expenses, such as drugs, doctor visits and hospitalizations, related to obesity, according to a study published this month in the journal Obesity Research," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The study, financed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that taxpayers paid half of the bill through Medicare and Medicaid programs.



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