It seems like someone at McDonald’s headquarters fell asleep. An ad for the fast food chain that was supposed to be funny was insulting to the people who live in Far Rockaway. The McDonald’s poster on the A train suggests riders should drink the chain’s iced coffee or risk “falling asleep and ending up in Far Rockaway.”
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.”
Did it not occur to the geniuses on Madison Avenue that lots of people are proud to live in Far Rockaway?
City Councilman James Sanders is steamed.
“I can assure the marketing boys over at McDonald’s that most people don’t wind up in the Rockaways by accident,” Sanders said in a statement. “They come for the beauty, serenity and entertainment that our peninsula offers, especially in the hot summer months when our beaches are overrun with visitors from Manhattan who flock to our shores.”
And then Sanders suggested the unthinkable. He said he was going to ban Ronald McDonald from the Rockaways.
For kids under 7, those are fighting words.
But Sanders said the ban can be lifted if Ronald “comes out to visit by train and expresses his love for our community.”
“As a loyal patron of mass transit, I ride the trains and buses daily and I encourage Ronald McDonald to ride with me as we cross one of nature’s wonders, Jamaica Bay, and go through the Gateway National Recreation Area to meet some of the best people east of the Rockies,” the councilman said.
But the McDonald’s brass did not seize on the opportunity to turn an embarrassing incident into a public relations opportunity. Even if they did not think the ad was an insult, they could have sent Ronald to Far Rockaway with gifts for a local school. Then, with the press in tow, he could have gone to the beach and said that it was his favorite summer getaway.
Instead, a McDonald’s representative said the company would not take Sanders up on the offer, but it did remove the ad after insisting that no insult was intended.