Thursday, February 09, 2006

New McDonald's sales pitch: Wanna die with that?

OAK BROOK (ap) -- Responding to intense criticism following the announcement that McDonald's French fries are higher in trans fats than originally stated, the company countered with a public relations blitz that includes a new advertising campaign. Starting immediately, "I'm lovin' it" will be replaced with "I'm fattenin' up" and cashiers will now ask each customer "Wanna die with that?" with each meal.

According to a company press release, these changes should put an end to frivolous lawsuits threatening to eat away at company profits.

Fans of the fast food giant seemed surprised that a large order of fries contains 8 grams of trans fats, up from 6 grams previously displayed on its website and printed on nutritional literature. "This is distressing news," said Pam Hamburglar, the head of the American Clogged Heart Association.

"First, everybody's favorite clown settles a lawsuit with Hindus for mislabeling French fries and hash browns as vegetarian," Hamburglar said. "Then, the company announces plans to cut the artery-clogging processed fat from its French fries by nearly half. Then, last year, McDonald's agrees to pay $8.5 million to settle a lawsuit from a nonprofit advocacy group accusing the company of misleading consumers by announcing plans to change its cooking oil but then delaying the switch. When will the company stop making all these concessions to the health-obsessed public?"

What, we worry?
The company immediately vowed not to be intimidated in a statement from the great beyond by former CEO Jim Cantalupo, who died of a heart attack at the age of 60 two years ago. "Oh come on, you know you want 'em," Cantualup told the Daley Show. "They're so deliciously salty and greasy, and cause so many diseases and future problems, you know you can't live with them."

In the meantime, children and their parents flocked to the nation's McDonald's locations for Olympics-related eating competitions. "Eat Like A Sumo Champion" is an test game previewing the Beijing games, despite the fact that the fat-man sport has nothing to do with China. "Yum," one 200-pound eight year old was heard mumbling between mouthfuls of Big Mac. "I'm fattenin' up!"

Booty call
Upon hearing the news of the mistaken trans fat content in fries, the maker of Pirate's Booty snacks could just shake his head. "We reportedly paid out more than $3 million because we slightly miscalculated the calorie and fat content of our little snack," said Robert, of Robert's American Gourmet. "Wonder if McDonald's will get away with it."

Trash tax
The city of Oakland -- which plans to tax the businesses it blames for much of the city's garbage woes and use the money to clean up the streets -- is now considering a comprehensive Trans Fat Tax.

"It's not fair that the residents have to get fat and sick because of a fast-food establishment that's making a profit," said Councilwoman Jane Brunner, who proposed the new ordinance. "A city is judged by how fit it is, and Oakland definitely has a major weight problem. It's time to trim that fat."

The proposal would tax products containing trans fats at $10 per gram. This would bring the cost of an order of large McDonald's fries to $81 on the value menu. Other high trans fat foods include margarine at 3 grams per stick, candy at 3 grams per bar, and doughnuts at 75 grams per dozen, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which in 1995 listed a medium order of fries at 8 grams of trans fats.

The money generated from the tax could go towards the treatment of obesity-related illnesses.

McDonald's, however, is undettered. "Don't listen to those government fuddy-duddys, kids," said the former CEO Cantalupo. "When in doubt, listen to our little jingles: I'm fattenin' up! Would Uncle Ronald McDonald ever lie to you?"


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