McDonald's Bitten by Pit Bull Ad

McDonald's has apologized for an ad that offended pit bull dog owners. To promote Chicken McBites, the radio ad said, "Trying a brand-new menu item at McDonald's isn't risky. You know what's risky? Petting a stray pit bull or shaving your head just to see how it looks..."  

Soon after the ad aired, pit bull lovers defended their pets and accused McDonald's of unfairly stereotyping. A Facebook page, Pit Bulls Against McDonald's, has been liked by almost 12,000 people. The group has started a petition and requests that McDonald's do the following:

"The undersigned are requesting that McDonald's use it's [sic] worldwide reach to make a difference for all the Pit Bulls that have been victims of a bad reputation that they neither earned, nor deserve. We want McDonald's, a family company that many of us have loved and grown up with, to take a stand for family values - because those of us that love our Pit Bulls consider them family. We'd like McDonald's to right this wrong by airing a commercial that shows the American Pit Bull Terrier in a positive light. If you need any actors, the shelters and rescues are chock of full of lovable characters that would love to ham it up for the camera."

Although the ad ran only in Kansas City, the company did apologize:

"The ad was insensitive in its mention of pit bulls. We apologize. As soon as we learned of it, we tracked the source and had the local markets pull the ad immediately. We'll do a better job next time. It's never our intent to offend anyone with how we communicate news about McDonald's."

No word yet on whether McDonald's will meet the petition-signers' demands.

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you find the ad offensive? Can you see how pit bull lovers might take issue with the ad?
  • Could McDonald's have done anything to avoid this situation? Should they have -- or could they have -- prevented this reaction?