McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook publicly mocked Burger King’s “McWhopper” idea for world peace, urging the fast-food rival to join them in a more “meaningful” global effort.
Burger King had proposed a peace offering between the two fast-food chains by creating a menu mashup for one day, with the proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organization Peace One Day, in honor of the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21, Syracuse.com reported.
Burger King launched a major social media campaign for the effort Wednesday and generated tons of publicity with its full-page newspaper ads and new McWhopper website.
But Mr. Easterbrook mocked the idea in a passive-aggressive post on Facebook.
“Dear Burger King,” he wrote. “Inspiration for a good cause … great idea. We love the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference. We commit to raise awareness worldwide, perhaps you’ll join us in a meaningful global effort? And every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war. We’ll be in touch.”
Mr. Easterbrook then signed his name and concluded with a postscript that read, “A simple phone call will do next time.”
Thousands of commenters on the post have vented their disappointment in Mr. Easterbrook’s tone and unwillingness to participate in the charitable stunt, Yahoo reported.
“Everyone was excited about this for the short time that we all thought it was a possibility,” commented Facebook user Andrew Javier Bernal. “McDonald’s has been struggling with customers for the past few years. Young people such as myself are realizing how old and tired their food is, not to mention that it’s terrible for you. I don’t eat fast food often but this was a cool chance to get some buzz going for both companies (even if it was Burger King’s idea) and instead McDonald’s wants to be a buzzkill and instead try to be all righteous with some phantom plan to raise global awareness.”
Mr. Bernal’s comment has been liked by more than 2,300 people.