Broward News

Anti-McDonald's Ad Snubbed by South Florida Newspapers and TV Stations

South Florida's two largest newspapers, the Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald, ran stories on their websites yesterday about local TV stations refusing to run an anti-McDonald's ad. Oddly, the stories, written by a Herald reporter, both lacked something obvious: the actual video. Or at least a link to the clip on YouTube.

Why? The group that shot the video, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), thinks there's a simple answer. McDonald's buys too many ads for TV stations or newspapers to show the clip.

The ad, at right, shows a woman crying over a dead man who's clutching a

half-eaten burger. It ends with the McDonald's golden arches with a play on the burger chain's slogan: "I was lovin it." A voice-over says: "High cholesterol. High blood pressure. Heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian."

Susan Levin, PCRM's director of nutritional education, says she was surprised South Florida newspapers and TV stations wouldn't show the ad. It aired already in Washington, D.C., and South Florida was the second market that was supposed to get the ad.

"I don't quite understand the controversy," she said. "I'm actually quite shocked, because I thought of it as a progressive area that would be open to other ideas."

Before picking which markets to show the ad, Levin said she studied how many McDonald's and other fast-food chains were located in South Florida. She said the area had, by far, more McDonald's, Burger Kings, and KFCs per mile than other markets.

"Maybe there's just so many McDonald's there, and they buy so much advertising, that nobody wants to risk it," Levin said.

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Eric Barton
Contact: Eric Barton