If you were to flip open the pages of your TV Guide and see that there was a documentary called “McDonald’s Gets Grilled” airing in prime time, you might assume that it’s a bit of McMuckraking, or at least a news organization’s look behind the counter at the fast food giant. But as viewers of Australian TV found out this week, it’s really just a 30-minute infomercial paid for by McDonald’s.
Australia’s Channel Seven, which ran the show on Monday night, defended its decision to take McDonald’s money and air the program.
“We make it very clear,” a rep for the network says. “And the views represented are not necessarily the views of Seven.”
The rep said that the McDonald’s-sponsored show “follows in the footsteps of other programs like Super Size Me and Fast Food Nation,” because apparently “follows in the footsteps” is Australian slang for “the complete opposite of.”
Just for laughs, the spokesperson took a break from chowing down on a McFlurry to add, “We have no reason to think the information in the program is other than accurate.”
The program follows a group of six, not-at-all-vetted, everyday Australians as they tour the various McDonald’s operations around the country.
“There’s still a lot of customers who have questions about where the food comes from,” said the McDonald’s Australia CEO. “We wanted to participate in this documentary to give Australians the chance to ask the tough questions and get honest answers, independently of McDonald’s.”
Again, we’re guessing that this must be just another case of confusing Aussie slang, as we don’t see how “independently of McDonald’s” isn’t in conflict with “sponsored by McDonald’s.”
Regardless, 761,000 Australians tuned in to watch the show, enough to win the time slot.
Seven defends showing McDoco [Sunday Telegraph]
McDonald’s ‘doco’ wins timeslot [The Australian]