McDonald's Copies Burrito Ads

McDonald's has apologized for using photographs similar to another campaign. About a month ago, photos of a man getting engaged to a burrito were making the rounds on Twitter. Recently, McDonald's showed a series of photos of people in similar positions with its food. Compare the left and right images below, shown on Adweek.


David Sikorski, a freelance writer, told Adweek that he created the idea:

"I came up with the concept as a satirical take on the engagement photos that flood my everyday social media channels. The photos are in fact licensed. We gave permission to BuzzFeed for the first use of the photos within an article highlighting the project."

Kristina Bakrevski was the photographer for the campaign. She said, "My reaction was shock, disbelief. I was mad, even though a lot of friends told me the imitation was a form of flattery." For its part, McDonald's responded:

"This shouldn't have happened, and, with our agency partner, we're working to find out how it did. We're reaching out to David Sikorski and Kristina Bakrevski. We apologize to them, their fans and ours."

Discussion Starters:

  • McDonald's statement says they will explore how this happened. What are your theories, and how could this have been prevented?
  • What else, if anything, should McDonald's do? How could the company avoid a lawsuit at this point?
  • Sikorski and Bakrevski said they would like to be paid. How much do you think is appropriate?