Last month, the fast-food giant announced its new Valentine's Day partnership with rap's royal couple in a Super Bowl ad, where the two can be seen enjoying a lavish date night catered by McDonald's. A cute bit that features the couple's favorite orders, the promo drives home that knowing your partner's order is "a sign of loving them." Except it now turns out that a number of McDonald's franchise owners aren't exactly loving the Cardi and Offset, with multiple locations apparently refusing to serve the meal-for-two deal.
According to Fortune, some franchisees are less than happy about the collaboration, with some arguing that the couple's inappropriate music and public behavior will hurt sales for an establishment that's supposed to be "family-friendly." In fact, it seems as if these restaurant operators — who own about 95% of McDonald's stores — are scandalized enough by the couple's use of swear words (!) and sex talk to boycott the entire partnership, with most of these franchisees reportedly being in "Southeastern and mid-Atlantic states."
As the outlet also went on to report, many are invoking the brand's 2021 marketing guidelines, which doesn't permit “partnerships with celebrities and influencers that have potential risk to damage our brand based on statements they have made or their positions on certain issues," as well as "music partnerships associated with content that includes offensive language in the lyrics."
However, McDonald's corporate is now responding to the backlash by saying the Cardi B and Offset meal's been met with support from many of its employees and franchisees, as the company's collaborations with hitmakers like Travis Scott, Saweetie and BTS have all been hits with younger customers.
“We’re focused on putting McDonald’s at the center of culture,” US marketing head Tariq Hassan said, adding that the brand is always conscious about what's posted to its own channels.
“Cardi and Offset are an iconic couple who have their own date-night tradition at McDonald’s that goes back years," Hassan continued. "We’re proud to share a little piece of that."
Cardi and Offset have yet to respond to the boycott.
Photos via Getty / Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic
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