McDonald's To Bloggers: U Can Haz Cheezburgers For Free If You Say Nice Things About Us

McDonald’s recently announced that London would become the new home of the World’s Largest McDonald’s restaurant just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The new store will seat 1,500 people and will be located right in the heart of London’s Olympic Village, so all of the world’s greatest athletes can compete for their nation’s love and the respect of millions and then go get themselves a tasty awful McRib sandwich.

But no matter where you go these days, people are quite critical of McDonald’s (including us!) – from pink slime scandals to childhood obesity – and the minds behind the Golden Arches have taken notice. Of course McDonald’s has previously started serving healthier options in their restaurants, but now they’ve conceded that there’s no power greater than the Internet. If you’re a blogger and you’re willing to write positive things about McDonald’s, Mayor McCheese will make all of your wildest dreams come true.

According to the Independent, McDonald’s has built a team of 400 bloggers that will begin to spin the wheels of positivity for the fast food chain throughout the Summer Olympics and beyond. And while this all does sound a little bit filet-o-fishy, McDonald’s claims they just want us to see beyond the pink slime and the critics like Jamie Oliver who have made their jobs harder.

“Bloggers, and specifically mom bloggers, talk a lot about McDonald’s,” he says. “They’re customers. They’re going to restaurants.” And even more important, these women have loyal followings. Why not let them behind the curtain, hope they like what they see and let them tell readers about it? “We identified them and said: ‘These are our key customers. These are key influencers for our brand,’ ” Wion says. “We need to make sure we’re working with them.” (Via Huffington Post)

Upon first glance, it really does look like McD’s is just paying off influential Internet writers to say good things as part of a global “Hey, look over there!” campaign. But it’s nothing new. Consumers just have to go with their gut – pun intended – when deciding who they trust.

For instance, I love Taco Bell’s Volcano Tacos. But would I cash in my credibility as a blogger just to receive all the Volcano Tacos I could eat for the rest of my life just for telling people that they’re the most delicious and nutritious treats that society has ever featured? So yes — call me, Taco Bell.