A few, small but expressive, have something to discuss with their boss, Ronald McDonald.
On February 28, Bloomberg reported that some McDonald’s franchisees say the chain’s latest celebrity promotion, featuring Cardi B & Offset, violates a set of internal rules, known as the “Code of the Golden Arches.” Because of this, they ask McDonald’s to withdraw that campaign, arguing that the family-focused restaurant chain partnered with an artist whose songs have profanity and explicit content “will hurt the brand.”
The couple’s dinner promo kicked off just before the Super Bowl when McDonald’s released an ad about the partnership ahead of Valentine’s Day. In the ad, the couple, who have been married since 2017, share their order for “date night,” as that special is known.
This includes Cardi B’s choice of a cheeseburger paired with BBQ sauce and a large Coke, and Offset’s choice of a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a large Hi-C Orange Lavaburst. The order also includes an apple pie and a large quantity of fries to share.
According to a 2021 copy of the Bloomberg-Revised Golden Arches Code, the brand does not allow “partnerships with celebrities and influencers who have a potential risk of damaging our brand based on statements they have made or their positions on certain issues.” “. Though the franchisees who have the issue aren’t specific about what positions Cardi B and Offset hold that prompted them to speak up.
Representatives for Cardi B and Offset did not immediately respond to TODAY.com’s request for comment.
The internal code establishes that “musical associations associated with content that includes offensive language in the lyrics” are also not allowed.
It’s worth noting that previous associations McDonald’s has had, with BTS, who have used profanity in some songs, such as “Cypher Pt. 3”, J Balvin, who explores sometimes controversial sexual themes in his music and videos, and “Rick and Morty,” an adult-themed cartoon that has included many instances of “offensive language,” would also appear to violate that code.
“It’s kind of a culture shock when you look at the McDonald’s brand over the years,” Dick Adams, a former McDonald’s restaurant owner and franchisee consultant, told Bloomberg. “Especially if you’re a franchisee and you’re in your 50s or 60s and you don’t have kids and you haven’t been exposed to any kind of these letters.”
According to a copy of the Golden Arches Code acquired by Business Insider in 2020, the global suite of marketing, advertising, legal, and trademark policies has quite a few interesting rules. One rule states that Ronald McDonald “may not be displayed in or visit a nightclub or lounge,” and another prohibits the use of the nickname “Ronnie,” but many other rules cover trademarks, logo colors, and more.