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French McDonald's ads: Don't 'abuse fast food'
October 31, 2002 3:16 PM   Subscribe

French McDonald's ads: Don't 'abuse fast food' - McDonald's France runs ads suggesting that children not eat its food more than once a week.
posted by stevengarrity (32 comments total)

 
I've read that some french people dont like seeing McDonalds in their country because its part of the spreading of America.
posted by Recockulous at 3:33 PM on October 31, 2002


I dont know why I commented before reading the artice. I guess I hardly ever have any time to comment at all so I jumped ahead of myself. But anyway, the people who trashed the McDonalds were looked at as heros of some sort. I dont know what the problem is, they serve baggets in french McDonalds. The french McDonalds Ive been to see to it that the food is as low of a quality as other cheap french restaurants.
posted by Recockulous at 3:55 PM on October 31, 2002


I think that is a rather universal reaction to McDonalds, (well outside the US at least).....
similarly Taco Bell, Borders, Starbucks, Jeans Coffeee, .....etc....they must be destroyed
posted by mary8nne at 3:58 PM on October 31, 2002


The French would do well to insist their children not eat any fast foods at any time...compare obesity stats.
posted by Postroad at 4:06 PM on October 31, 2002


In Paris no problem the line was like something at Disneyland.

Side note most people ate at this other fast food joint, Quickie Burger. The bad thing for this place was with student ID you received two of everything for the price of one. Seriously their sizes were bigger than McDonalds, talk about a fat trap.

It was odd to have someone say, Thom you can use my card so you can eat like an American. Because hey, I was already adding mayonnaise to my fries, no need to be over indulging I told them.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:13 PM on October 31, 2002


I think these folks are smart...at McDonalds. Their claim does three things:
- makes them appear responsible
- gives them visibility
- increases sales

Why increase sales? Because their statement will have no effect on sales which are almost always increasing.
posted by StoneRoseDesign at 4:18 PM on October 31, 2002


I think that is a rather universal reaction to McDonalds, (well outside the US at least).....
similarly Taco Bell, Borders, Starbucks, Jeans Coffeee, .....etc....they must be destroyed


Hmm, then how do you explain why people (inside and outside the U.S.) keep buying all those things?
posted by Ty Webb at 4:43 PM on October 31, 2002


how do you explain why people (inside and outside the U.S.) keep buying all those things?

Mind control rays from space. Why else would the US be so worried about a european GPS system? You wait, five years time, and you'll all be listening to techno, driving bimmers, and dunking hashish baguettes in your wine!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:57 PM on October 31, 2002


The part I could not understand is that this article is talking about "ads, which appeared this spring..." It originated in the AP and has been spreading through North American media outlets within the last few days. Google revealed that a similar article already appeared in Britain's Guardian in June (more timely, don't you think). "In France the fast food giant has run "advertorials" in women's magazines featuring comments about diet and advice from nutritionists." So, tell me - Why now?
posted by noom at 5:00 PM on October 31, 2002


That's why I always wear my tin-foil helmet. And never go into those places.. they put drugs in the food just like the Hare Krishnas...

If you've ever eaten to much krishna semolina you'll know what i mean. drowsy...
posted by mary8nne at 5:20 PM on October 31, 2002


It's just a more direct and open (re)action outside the USA. The same thing will start happening in America very soon - after the war against the tobacco industry, the cannons will be turned to the fast food industry, including USA. No escape here: see this, this and this articles. McDonald's (and its partners) will have to redefine itself, from lower-fat fries to the french ads (or worst).
posted by nandop at 5:26 PM on October 31, 2002


anyone have a copy of the ad?
posted by panopticon at 5:28 PM on October 31, 2002


Wot StoneRoseDesign said.
Also, I still recall the excitement when the first McDonalds opened in my home town. I have to admit that fast-food before McD's etc was grim, grim, grim. Of course, now I'm a vegetarian.... *sigh*
posted by Catch at 5:38 PM on October 31, 2002


I don't care what the basis is for this admonition: FINALLY, THE FRENCH DO SOMETHING RIGHT!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:10 PM on October 31, 2002


At a guess, I'd say that the McDonald's ad ran the quote in much the same way that a film ad would run a quote from a published review. They liked the bit where the nutritionist said that McDonald's was an acceptable part of one's weekly diet enough to go ahead and just run the full quote.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:44 PM on October 31, 2002


It's just a more direct and open (re)action outside the USA. The same thing will start happening in America very soon - after the war against the tobacco industry, the cannons will be turned to the fast food industry, including USA. No escape here: see this, this and this articles. McDonald's (and its partners) will have to redefine itself, from lower-fat fries to the french ads (or worst).

Finally, the truth comes out about fast food. I always knew it was bad for me and everyone laughed. Laughed! But who's laughing now?! Hahahahahahah hahah hah ha...

*contented sigh*
posted by The God Complex at 6:47 PM on October 31, 2002


Is a MacMeal really, provably, unhealthy ?

When I eat there ( once a season, if I'm in a hurry, okay? ) the problem is the shitey staff, the half warm food and the lack of a beer with my meal, but the nutritional value of something containing lettuce, tomato, onion, beef, bread and potato[e]s seems up there with something I would cook for myself.

-> Do you have facts with that ?
posted by godidog at 7:47 PM on October 31, 2002


Is a MacMeal really, provably, unhealthy ?

Since a single typical Mcdonald's meal gives you about 3/4 of a whole day's worth of saturated fat you can safely assume that eating there will sooner or later give you problems if you eat there regularly.
Love, Mother Nutrition.
posted by shoos at 8:54 PM on October 31, 2002


Wow. Just a minute... I'm looking for my eyeballs. Oh there, I just found them. I dropped them when I was cleaning them after I thought I just saw McDonald's say something intelligent.

Wow. I like this trend of honesty! Bring it over here!
posted by shepd at 10:24 PM on October 31, 2002


I had a hard time figuring out why McDonalds (universally referred to as MacDos) was successful in France when I was living there. After talking to people I realized that if you want to eat lunch in 30 minutes guaranteed, or if you want to take your kids out to a restaurant in France, you don't have a lot of choices.

It's convenience and entertainment over food. Food (along with seduction) is really the deep core of French culture. It holds the country together in a the same way that the idea of the "American Dream" holds America together. It's understandable that they feel threatened, and it's impressive that McDonald's understands how to adapt to that.

The French are still very, very far away from the kind of obesity epidemic that the Americans seem to think must be genetic. The day that changes, the French will move from trashing McDonalds to making them outright illegal.
posted by fuzz at 10:44 PM on October 31, 2002


This confirms something I've always suspected: McDonald's food is made of silica gel. DO NOT EAT!

Seriously -- this is probably a sneaky way of getting the French to go to McDonald's more often. See, it's okay to go every week! A nutritionist said so! If they could get everyone in France to eat under the golden arches once a week, they'd probably increase their sales by an order of magnitude.
posted by kindall at 11:22 PM on October 31, 2002


It's hilarious that the country that invented the French fry thinks that McDonalds' is unhealthy. These are the people who 'enrich' sauces with cream and butter and who invented foie gras.

And yet, they're right on this one. Despite all that stuff, they don't have the obesity or cardiovascular disease problem Americans do. It may be the wine. It may be the larger amount of vegetables in the French diet. McDonalds' problem may not be the food they serve, but the food they don't serve.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 12:08 AM on November 1, 2002


It's hilarious that the country that invented the French fry...

The etymology is not from the word "France" but the verb "to french".
From Webster's:
Main Entry: french
Pronunciation: 'french
Function: transitive verb
Usage: often capitalized
Date: 1941
1 : to trim the meat from the end of the bone of (as a chop)
2 : to cut (green beans) in thin lengthwise strips before cooking

posted by talos at 2:22 AM on November 1, 2002


The exact origin of french fries is hotly debated, but France and Belgium are the top two candidates: The history of the fry.

Maybe the French are just pissed because some Americans are making a fortune selling their own invention back to them.
posted by shoos at 2:52 AM on November 1, 2002


My impression of France, on the two occasions I spent time in the south bumming around as a young man, was that it had no shortage of obese middle aged men. Two hour lunches, typically with the whole family attending, and evening meals which began anytime after 8pm in the summer, sum up the appetites of a french man.

However, in the south where I was, it was assumed that the french cuisine as a whole was a protective factor (tho' I reckon the French put taste above all technological factors): use of extra virgin olive oil, or simple olive oil where necessary, lightly cooked veg, salads at all times, huge range of foodstuffs, kids eating with parents, joy in eating quality stuff - along with the well-known protection that comes from moderate drinking of red wine - all go to a life-long attitude to food which far surpasses other western nations (even maybe adds a spiritual dimension to consumption). Other mediterranean nations, from the Spanish, Italian & Greeks*, to the Levantine and North African countries have a relaxed and profound notion of food as sustenance, making us far more than what we eat.

One last thing: every french restaurant I've ever been in positively welcomed children: McD's is not winning on those grounds, I'm sure. In France, McD's will have to settle for co-existence, rather than domination, as it has preferred here in the UK.

*OK, Mig - as a technically non-Mediterranean country, how does this chime with Portugal? Is it, as I suspect, similar in ethos in Lisbon? Maybe the region's attitude to food has more to do with climate, rather than it's bordering on the Med?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:54 AM on November 1, 2002


Kindall: great observation.

In France, it's generally understood that you get fat from carbs, not fat. So I suspect the French view the fries and sodas as more harmful than the burgers.

Don't mock the French when it comes to health and food. They put butter on dry sausage, but remain thin. We could all learn a thing or two from studying their lifestyle.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:58 AM on November 1, 2002


Delightful red wine, cigarettes galore, and stanky semi-solid cheese out the wazoo.

I'm in until the cheese.
posted by hama7 at 6:07 AM on November 1, 2002


the kind of obesity epidemic that the Americans seem to think must be genetic
So true.

It may be the wine. It may be the larger amount of vegetables in the French diet. McDonalds' problem may not be the food they serve, but the food they don't serve.

Not the wine, an not large amounts of vegetables. They eat to eat. Not like Americans who just eat because it is 12 noon. They also eat a little bit of everything.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:58 AM on November 1, 2002


similarly Taco Bell, Borders, Starbucks, Jeans Coffeee, .....etc....they must be destroyed

Hmm, then how do you explain why people (inside and outside the U.S.) keep buying all those things?


Do Taco Bell and Borders even exist outside the US? I've never heard of Jeans Coffee. Or are you talking about the products jeans and coffee?
posted by Summer at 12:03 PM on November 1, 2002


Maybe the French are just pissed because some Americans are making a fortune selling a poor imitation of their own invention back to them.

Seriously, I like my chips fries to actually have potato in them.

Do Taco Bell and Borders even exist outside the US?

Borders certainly does, dunno about Taco Bell though.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:17 PM on November 1, 2002


McDonald's food is just not very nutritious, and the quality is often poor. Some locations have better food than others, but I usually order the fish sandwich because I don't trust their handling of meat.

This may seem off-topic, but I find it incredible what a difference complex carbs (e.g. fresh fruits & veggies) make in one's diet. Especially the vegetables -- I eat them raw at my desk, and have discovered that my energy level remains much more steady throughout the work day.

Most Americans don't get nearly enough complex carbs, nor enough water. I'm betting that those two things cause more health problems than anything else in our society.

The Mickey D's culture has contributed a lot to this. People drink soda instead of water, and end up getting less than their recommended daily fluids, and more caffeine/sugar than they need.

(end of rant)
posted by TreeHugger at 1:36 PM on November 1, 2002


There is a Taco Bell in Sydney and a Borders now.
I think another chain bookstore just opened up (?).


The proliferation of Starbucks pisses me off the most, as I do enjoy a good coffee.
posted by mary8nne at 4:16 PM on November 1, 2002


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