McDonald's didn't approve those Orange Line ads that got some people upset

McDepression hurts. Photo by Kate Ingalls.McDepression hurts. Photo by Kate Ingalls.

Seems those ads promising help for people suffering from the Big Mac withdrawal symptoms were put on the T by McDonald's local ad agency without the hamburger chain's approval.

In a statement, Arnold President Pam Hamlin says:

Arnold apologizes for its mistake to McDonald's and to anyone who was offended by the ad. McDonald's did not approve the ad, and it's release was our unintended error. We've addressed the issue and have improved our approval process to ensure this does not happen in the future.

McDonald's and Arnold asked the T to pull the ads down (see the other ads).

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Comments

Damage Control

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Sounds suspiciously like damage control to me. There is NO WAY those ads would have made it to the public without the approval of McDonald's first.

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Yes, they did.

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I know with 100% certainty that they did post the ads without the approval of the local advertising coop of small business owners, who own and operate the McDonald's restaurants in this area. The person who came up with them no longer works for Arnold. McDonald's did not approve those ads. Don't forget that McDonald's Franchisees are small business owners who employs thousands of people in this area.

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"I know with 100% certainty

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"I know with 100% certainty that they did post the ads without the approval of the local advertising coop of small business owners, who own and operate the McDonald's restaurants in this area. The person who came up with them no longer works for Arnold. McDonald's did not approve those ads. Don't forget that McDonald's Franchisees are small business owners who employs thousands of people in this area."

Do the franchise owners actually have any say in the advertising? I would think all advertising would be tightly controlled by McDonald's corporate headquarters. However, I found it very questionable that nowhere on the ads does the McDonald's Golden Arches corporate logo appear. That is unheard of in this age when branding is the end all be all. It is also suspicious that the ad utilizes a legitimate McDonald's corporate phone number. Unless the phone message contains additional advertising, which apparently it does not, does't this just invite endless unnecessary calls? These ads are just very questionable.

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I thought the lack of a

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I thought the lack of a McDonald's logo was really odd as well.

I have NEVER seen a McDonald's ad withou the arches in it...anywhere.

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Yes

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They do, they have a coop where they vote on all local promotions

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Hey, "Jamie" !

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Did Pam Hamlin come into the mailroom today and tell you no Starbucks runs today, she needs you to monitor the blog response to this major fuck up?

Of course, being the smart toady that I perceive you to be, you ran every response by the head honchos at Arnold before you hit that save button, didn't you?

It's OK, you can admit it. If you do pick advertising as your profession, you'll have lost your soul by your second year at any agency you're lucky enough to bullshit your way into anyways.

Care to publish the IP address you've been posting your responses from during today? During regular business hours.....?

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Um once from my job at

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Um once from my job at McDonald's where I work as an office manager for a franchisee and once from my phone. Twice now actually. I'm not going to lie about it. Just defending my brand.

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Like a system in which

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a public transportation agency funded in part by our tax dollars gives an ad agency carte blanche to do whatever the hell they feel like, and then only gets involved when somebody complains.

It's time for society to once and for all recognize advertising for what it realy is - a gross waste of resources that could otherwise be put to far more beneficial things. And it's time for the MBTA to wake up and recognize that the explosion of advertising on their system is insulting to their riders.

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There Is No Such Thing As Bad Money

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You know what the fares would be without the advertising revenue to offset all the costs not covered by government stipends and the fares themselves?

Besides, I find the ads quite humorous in the way they play off other common ads on the MBTA. And I have suffered from mental illness but I can laugh still, it didn't kill my spirit or sense of humor. People who get tweaked by such are far too sensitive. It's not even making fun of mental illness itself. It's making fun of the ridiculous ads or PSAs you see on the T for such.

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The part I find offensive about T ads

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is when I see ads that have been clearly left up too long, and the MBTA doesn't bother to turn them over with new advertisers to generate more revenue.

There's currently an ad at Blandford St. on the B line for Borderlands 2, a video game that came out in September 2012. So the company advertising that game probably paid for 4 months' worth of ad space, and got 10.

One of the PR people at my last job announced in a meeting that they were buying MBTA ads specifically because the T never takes them down, so you get twice as much advertising as you paid for. The T needs revenue. They should be working harder to turn over those spaces!

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Actually, I do

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You know what the fares would be without the advertising revenue to offset all the costs not covered by government stipends and the fares themselves?

Actually, I do. Assuming advertising constitutes 100% of the "Other Operating Revenue" as detailed in the FY2013 Statement of Revenue and Expenses, then advertising revenue brought in $47,433,748 in FY2012. Let's divide that by the systemwide number of passengers (defined as one single one-way trip) in FY2012 (that's 400,185,000, according to Joe Pesaturo), and we get a result of ~0.1185, which means an across-the-board fare hike of about 12% (the difference between a $70 monthly pass and a $79 monthly pass, or between a $2 subway fare and a $2.25 fare) would be sufficient to totally replace ad revenues.

Assuming, however, that advertising instead constitutes 100% of the nebulously titled "Other Income" in non-operating revenues (that figure was $50,958,509, for reference), we have to redo our math and discover that the new "ad revenue per rider" number is ~0.1273, or a roughly 13% across-the-board fare hike. Hell, let's add both of those numbers together and assume that the ad revenue is a "massive" $98,392,257 - we still only get a per-rider number of ~0.2458, or a roughly 25% fare hike.

I don't know about you, but I'd happily pay 25% more per trip if it meant expelling all ads from the MBTA system. These numbers also nicely explain why we've seen a hot and heavy rollout of the latest and greatest in advertising technology across the system as of late - seems ad revenue, whatever it's actually being reported as, is on the decline. Better sell more ads to make up for the difference!!

I agree with the previous anon. Instead of plastering an ever-rising number of stupid posters and commercial televisions (a term which here means "televisions that only play commercials") all over the system until we reach Peak Advertisement, we should repurpose the electronics to display useful information only, and ditch the posters.

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I might be mistaken but...

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I do believe that advertising money contributes a rather small portion to the T's operating budget.

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Fascinating

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Then that would suggest that, in fact, advertising is not 100% of EITHER of the two revenue figures that I provided in my previous comment. Assuming Wikipedia is correct, that's truly fascinating - it means the worst case scenario, largest amount of money from advertisements zeroed-out fare increase requirement of 25% is a gross overestimation and, in fact, an increase of as little as 2% across the board (with a number that low, in fact, you can even start talking about targeted fare hikes rather than across the board fare hikes) covers the entirety of the lost revenue from axing ads.

So maybe the average person doesn't loathe the advertising enough to want to pay $0.50 more per ride to cover it being removed - but, I'm willing to bet that you'd find 9 of 10 people would support paying an extra nickel or less on the average to be rid of it. Hell, I said I was willing to swallow 10 times that if it meant I never again had to hear Blue Outdoor's obnoxious "please buy this ad space from us" jingle as I wait for my train in South Station.

doot doo-doo-doot doot do-do-doot do doot doo-doo-doo-doot. It's seared into my brain.

Wikipedia being

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correct for once - that would be truly facinating.

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Funded

He said funded. Ha ha. The MBTA is funded. That's a good one.

If you want insult to the riders, you haven't seen anything yet.

English major?

and it's release

I thought you had to have a passing relationship with English to be an advertising executive.

He's also

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working on a manuscript titled "If I Did Approve Those Ads."

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