By Howard Koplowitz
McDonald’s has pulled an ad featured on the A and 6 trains that suggests riders drink the fast food chain’s iced coffee or risk “falling asleep and ending up in Far Rockaway” after City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) said the neighborhood was not laughing at the poster.
The ad shows a hand wrapped around a McDonald’s iced coffee making a toast with the words “To not falling asleep and ending up in Far Rockaway” with smaller text in parentheses saying “unless, of course, you live there.”
“Years ago, parents would scare their children with tales of the bogeyman,” Sanders said during a phone interview Tuesday as he was riding the A train. “Was McDonald’s trying to scare the public with Far Rockaway? I don’t see the humor.”
Sanders said the ad appearing on the 6 train, which does not go to the Rockways, “only adds proof that what [McDonald’s] was doing was a terrible thing.”
A McDonald’s marketing manager said the ad was being pulled immediately and apologized “to anyone who was offended by our subway advertisement.
“Our intention was to add humor to the situation of falling asleep on the subway, missing a local stop and waking up at the end of the line,” said Jennifer Nagy, marketing manager for McDonald’s New York Metro Region.
Sanders banned Ronald McDonald from visiting the peninsula, which he said could be lifted if the McDonald’s character rode the A train and relaxed on Far Rockaway beaches, but McDonald’s refused to take the councilman up on his offer.
But Sanders said he lifted the ban, saying the goal was not to ridicule the fast food chain but to “educate and reform.”
“All is forgiven,” the councilman said. “They can come back to the beach, the ban is lifted.”
Sanders said in the summer, “there is no better place to be [than Far Rockaway] in the Tri-State area.”
“We will defend our neighborhoods, from every leaf in Laurelton to every spring in Springfield Gardens, to every rose in Rosedale and every rock in the Rockaways,” Sanders said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.