Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Community News Network

April 23, 2013

McDonald's hires teen Olympian to tout egg-white sandwich

CHICAGO — McDonald's Corp. has hired 17-year- old Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas to help promote its newest item - the egg-white breakfast sandwich.

The world's largest restaurant chain by sales has tapped Douglas, who won the women's gymnastics all-around gold and helped the U.S. squad win the team event in London last year, as it attempts to attract diners with healthier items. The fast- food company, long criticized for selling junk food and targeting kids with its ads, has recently sought to clean up its image with apple slices in Happy Meals and a "Favorites Under 400 Calories" menu.

"The typical impression of McDonald's is that it's high calories and high cholesterol," Bob Dorfman, executive creative director at San Francisco-based Baker Street Advertising, said in an interview. "It makes sense to nab somebody like Gabby Douglas" because she espouses a healthy lifestyle and appeals to a younger crowd.

While McDonald's is using a minor to promote its food, it's acceptable because she's a positive influence and is touting a healthier item, Dorfman said.

"It's one thing when they're using a clown to sell triple cheeseburgers, it's another thing when they're using someone who's a role model to kids," he said.

National marketing for the 250-calorie sandwich starts April 29 and includes print, billboard, radio and television ads. One ad reads "Great taste, all yolks aside." Another says "We're turning breakfast on its head." Douglas won't appear in any of the ads - she will promote the egg whites at McDonald's events, including one at a restaurant in New York City Tuesday.

"It's all about promoting choice," Noelle Laughter, director of marketing for McDonald's USA, said in an interview. "It's not a replacement of Egg McMuffin." She declined to say how much McDonald's is spending on the campaign and how much it paid Douglas.

"I love egg whites as part of my normal breakfast routine, so the new Egg White Delight McMuffin is perfect for me," Douglas said in an emailed statement.

Adding an order of hash browns and an iced mocha to a breakfast meal packs an extra 440 calories.

Douglas, who was 16 years-old when she won her medals, already had a promotion agreement with Kellogg, which put the gymnast on the cover of its Corn Flakes box.

The endorsement ended in November, Sandy Uridge, senior director of integrated promotions at the Battle Creek, Mich.-based company, said in an e-mailed statement. She declined to say how much Douglas was paid for the deal.

Nicknamed the "Flying Squirrel," Douglas made headlines last year when she told Jay Leno that she "splurged" on an McDonald's Egg McMuffin, which has 300 calories, to celebrate her Olympic wins. First Lady Michelle Obama, founder of the "Let's Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, and also a guest on NBC's "The Tonight Show" that night, said in response: "You're setting me back, Gabby."

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 10, 2014

  • 297px-Starbucks_Corporation_Logo_2011.svg.png Why Starbucks won't recycle your paper coffee cup

    When you drop that used white paper cup into the bin next to the door at a Starbucks, have you done your part to save the planet? Starbucks has long hoped that you would think so. After all, there's no better way to attract an affluent, eco-conscious clientele than to convince customers that your disposable product is "renewable."

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don't blame voters for low turnout

    Suppose nobody votes this year. On Nov. 4 the doors to the polling places are thrown open, and there isn't anyone in line. No absentee ballots are filed. No one litigates, charging either fraud or discrimination, because there weren't any voters.
    It won't happen. But if it did, pundits and activists would surely blame public apathy for such a catastrophe. I'd name a different culprit: the major parties, their candidates and their acolytes in the news media.

    April 4, 2014