Some McDonald’s franchisees are pushing back against the Cardi B and Offset celebrity campaign. They say promoting the meal doesn’t reflect the company’s family values.
According to the Wall Street Journal, franchise owners have expressed concerns about the campaign in email messages to other owners and the company itself. Some owners admitted they knew several locations that declined to offer the promotion because of concerns about being associated with the rappers.
“Im messages sent to the U.S. division in recent weeks, several McDonald’s franchisees said that the artists’ lyrics and lifestyles aren’t aligned with the company’s brand,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Some owners believe Cardi B and Offset could erode the restaurant’s family-friendly image. Right now, it’s unclear how many of the more than 1,000 franchisees were declining to promote the deal, or agreed it was unsuitable.
“Across our marketing, we’re focused on putting McDonald’s at the center of culture,” says U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Tariq Hassan.
Hassan says the artist partnership deals have brought in significant business for the company. The campaign is part of McDonald’s ‘Famous Orders‘ meals, where stars share their favorite McDonald’s items that are promoted in promotional packaging. The Cardi B and Offset meal was introduced as a Valentine’s Day promotion as the two have said for years they have a McDonald’s date-night tradition.
McDonald’s started the campaign in 2020 to help it recover from lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travis Scott helped kick off the promotion with his $6 meal deal. Part of that promotion’s success is that the items were cheaper together as a deal.
“Nothing had a greater impact on our digital business than the introduction of the program last year,” says McDonald’s U.S. President Joe Erlinger in a 2021 call with investors. 65% of franchisees said they didn’t support the 2020 collaboration with Travis Scott when it debuted.