Mt. Vernon Register-News

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
  • Church's denied request for National Guard visit draws national attention

    A Missouri church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    August 1, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks