McDonald’s Upset Over New Commercial

A new television ad produced by a Washington-based health group is taking aim at McDonald’s high-fat menu, enraging the fast food giant.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine produced the new commercial, which is set to be aired in Washington DC during the airing of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday.

The ad centers around an overweight, middle-aged man seen lying dead in a morgue holding a half-eaten burger as a woman weeps over his body. McDonald’s omnipresent golden arches then trace the dead man’s feet with the text “I was lovin’ it,” a harsh jibe at McDonald’s long-running slogan “I’m lovin’ it.”

A voiceover then says: “High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian.”

PCRM said it is also considering showing the ad in Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Los Angeles.

The ad “takes aim at McDonald’s high-fat menu, with the goal of drawing Washingtonians’ attention to the city’s high rates of heart disease deaths and its high density of fast-food restaurants,” PCRM said in a statement.

People who consume fast food are at a higher risk for obesity, one of the major contributing factors to heart disease, according to several studies, it said.

But the new ad has infuriated McDonald’s.

“This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald’s trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them,” spokeswoman Bridget Coffing said.

Washington D.C. has more McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC outlets per square mile than eight other cities with similar size populations, PCRM said.

McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food chain, has seen its earnings grow recently despite the global economic downturn. The company attributes some of its ongoing successes to a range of alternatives to its famous burgers.

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