Friday, September 04, 2009

Number one thing: This ad is fun, and you may well empathize. But the story behind it could certainly inspire some ethical discussion, though perhaps nothing of relevance to journalism.

Except maybe this: Journalists don't stage events. (Except except, sometimes TV recreates certain news events. Damn.)


caitlindee said...

I don't think this was unethical at all. The students were attending their commercial production class and the McDonald's ad set up was a unique and entertaining way to engage the students in a class activity, and the activity was completely relevant to their course curriculum. Also, the students had to sign a release form afterwards, so those who may not have been interested in appearing on national television could've said so.

I think McDonald's made a really smart business move; they got a relatable TV ad out of it (regardless if it was staged or not) and they also allowed the students to learn about the commercial production process by taking them to their studios. This way, the students were able to learn, hands on, how a TV ad is put together. Great idea!

Lauren said...

I think that the ad is just targeting college students because it's a well known fact that most college students are awake between the hours of 7-9am. It's a huge marketing ad, and they were smart to use a college lecture classroom as the set. Unethical? I don't think so. I think they are hoping to bring in more business in the morning, that's all.

Brian Brause said...

I don't think Mcdonalds did anything unethical here. What they did was quite inventive and had I been in that lecture I certainly would have been very happy to have them interrupt the speaker to give me coffee. Journalists may never stage their stories (hopefully?) butthis is McDonald's and they are filming commercials. Commercials are generally staged! Although the students were only given 10$ Itunes gift cards, which is pretty lame, they were also given an inside look into the production of making a commercial and that sort of thing. And the people who didn't want to be in the commercial could have opted out.