The Chain Gang

McDonald’s Effectively Shamed Into Massive Charity Donation

At least it's for a good cause.
At least it’s for a good cause. Photo: Jon-Michael Sullivan/Staff/The Augusta Chronicle/Corbis

Today’s New York Times reports that McDonald’s has asked other “like-minded” organizations, like MasterCard and Facebook, to help it raise money to help the United Nations’ World Food Program respond to the migrant crisis in Europe and the Middle East. The reasonable conclusion for this is the pressure following Burger King’s ill-fated suggestion that the two join forces and make a McWhopper “for peace.” (Burger King ought to “acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook tsk-tsked on Facebook.)

But Burger King found four other interested collaborators for its burger anyway, leaving McDonald’s to try for moral superiority by doing “something meaningful, something authentic,” to quote Easterbrook — making a multi-million-dollar donation for 30-second ads starring Liam Neeson.

Ironically, the World Food Program notes that Burger King is also a partner, though the Times does mention that what role exactly is unclear. A rep for the chain said, “Any peace-related activity McDonald’s undertakes, whether in partnership with Burger King or on their own, is great, as it will raise further awareness for Peace Day.”


McDonald’s Effectively Shamed Into Massive Charity Donation