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Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.



 

8. May 2014 19:52
by jennifer
19 Comments

McDonald's, Mamavation, and the Twitter Fiasco

8. May 2014 19:52 by jennifer | 19 Comments

Anyone that knew me in my "before" life knew me as a woman who LOVED McDonald's. Seriously. I had an addiction to McDonald's. Namely their Double Cheeseburgers. I can still close my eyes and imagine what they taste like. My mouth immediately begins to salivate.

I shared my story with processed food addiction with the Huff Post.

But it wasn't McDonald's that caused me to be morbidly obese. It was ME. I was the one driving my car to McDonald's. I was the one asking my husband to stop and pick up something to eat. Me. All Me. I harbor no ill will towards McDonald's. It's not anyone's job but MINE to teach MY children how and what to eat. And I do take them to McDonald's on occasion. And I'll eat there too. Their Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad is amazing.

I am part of a large network of bloggers called Mamavation. Mamavation is "a community that supports one another as we each journey through the path to better health" and it's an amazing group of moms. They are social advocates for change; non-GMO foods, non-processed foods, etc., all areas that I 100% support and believe in.

However, something happened today that has made me sit back and scratch my head a little bit.

I came across this screen shot on my Facebook page this afternoon. Immediately I was so confused. It was SO OBVIOUS to me that this tweet was not meant to come from McDonald's. I did a little digging and found out that Lizzie_McD, the lead Tweeter (is that a word??) for McDonald's had ACCIDENTALLY replied to a Mamavation/ShiftCon blogger using the official McDonald's Twitter account rather than her personal account.

It was also quite obvious to me based on this ONE Tweet that these two women have a history. What that history is I have no idea. Nor do I really care to know.

Immediately upon discovering her mistake, Lizzie deleted the Tweet and apologized for her mistake.

In my very honest opinion that should have been the end of it.

But it wasn't.

Mamavation decided to use this mistake to further their own agenda against McDonald's. And I have a problem with that. What happened to the SUPPORT that they claim?? Does it only extend to their members and those that AGREE with them?? So 5 years and 200 pounds ago I wouldn't have been welcome?

I fully support that Mamavation wants to educate mom's about the ingredients that are found in the foods that we feed our family, including those ingredients found in McDonald's food.

But to know that a woman, a MOM, made a MISTAKE and then to bash her, to call for her firing, to find joy in someone's misery, I have to draw the line.

I am all for living a healthy lifestyle, but I am also for EMPOWERING WOMEN, to LIFT THEM UP, to help them to BE BETTER MOMS.

Was Lizzie's tweet rude? Yes, no doubt about it. But there is obviously something personal going on between Casey and Lizzie. And I firmly believe that it needs to be handled between those two women.

I'm still trying to figure out how Lizzie's rude tweet demonstrates McDonald's marketing tactics. I'm just confused.

And I'm sad for both Lizzie and Casey. Both of them are mothers and I'm sure both of them are trying to do the best that they can to provide for their children.

So as we lead up to Mother's Day weekend, I ask you to be a little nicer to the other women in your life. We are all trying to do the best that we can.

 

Comments (19) -

Linz @ Itz Linz

couldn't agree more! everyone needs to be nicer! the end.

Madeline @ Food Fit and Fam

Agree with you.  100%.  Mistakes happen and I also feel like they used it to further their agenda instead of seeing it for what it is.  There is definitely history between the two based on tweets.  It was absolutely rude but I think things have gone a bit far.

Julie Cohn

Wow, what a contentious situation.  Good for you for standing up for your beliefs.  I agree that mistakes were made, and as women we should be encouraging each other and building each other up, not tearing each other down and resorting to the stereotypical "women's cat fight" that we often get labeled.  

Nicole Wetherington

Why does a national women's fitness magazine not use the photos a person sends them because they show her loose skin? Why do people leave snide backhanded comments on facebook posts when someone makes an exercising post? Some people just find joy in other's pain and those are the people I can do without!

jennifer

I agree fully with you, Nicole. Making other people feel badly, acting snarky, and catty behavior is what divides us as women. Working moms-vs-stay at home moms, organic moms-vs-non organic moms, bottle feeding-vs-breast feeding. The list is ENDLESS. My point (I guess LOL) is that MOMS need to make the choices that are best for THEIR family. Everyone else just needs to butt the heck out.

Chrysa

I hate all the social media drama!!!  I just don't understand all the publicly calling out of other women because of their personal choices.

Dede

Wait...what?  I don't get it.  So the McDonald's tweeter is mad at the Mamavation girl and they're taking it outside... I mean, to Twitter. ??  I get Mamavation emails but maybe it's time to click unsubscribe.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

jennifer

Right Dede, it's so confusing. And when I asked Mamavation for clarification I was told  "This is an issue about fast food marketing to children. I think if you look at his as a personal he said she said you are missing a lot here."

Kathleen Kennedy-Leon

Wow--there's so much drama in the world already--as they sing in Frozen--LET IT GO!! you are right--just support one another and enjoy life as it is

Mama to 5 Blessings

wow that is some drama, sounds like mamavation has some apologizing to do to you and McDonalds, a written apology for all to see would be the professional thing to do.

Sarah White

Ugh. I saw this on Twitter. Basically, I think any time there is a social media "war" there are no winners. I agree with the previous commenter - aint nobody got time for that.

Hanna

In my opinion, the Mamavation post wasn't about moms tearing each other down. It was about the bigger picture of why child-targeted fast food marketing is a problem, and how it undermines parents' authority to help their kids stay healthy. Regardless of which twitter account a tweet was sent from, it's problematic when a mom is legitimately concerned that McDonald's makeover of Ronald McDonald aims to appeal to kids more, expresses that concern using the hashtag that McDonald's asked people to use to show their opinions, and is told to go parent her kids. I agree with Leah that fast food marketing is a huge factor driving diet-related disease, and all the research I've seen backs this up. The American Academy of Pediatrics and many other health organizations agree that marketing to young kids is inherently deceptive: kids under the age of 8 don't understand persuasive intent--they can't distinguish between games and ads. So when they're marketed to at every turn, without even knowing it's marketing, they're much more likely to want to eat fast food and develop a long-standing loyalty for specific brands like McDonald's. So yes, the McDonald's social media person made a mistake. But the main point of the Mamavation post wasn't to alienate her for a slip-up of accounts-- it was to draw attention to this incredibly important underlying issue of how McDonald's views kids and parents as marketing targets.

Mara

This actually doesn't seem like something personal between two women. It is about more than that -- marketing decisions and millions of dollars spent by a corporation, which undermine ALL parents who are trying to keep their kids healthy. There's a reason why the fast food industry (and the tobacco industry, and others) spend so much money marketing to kids (often getting around parents to do so) -- because it works. And it IS addictive. It's great that you were able to make a change in your life, but many people aren't, and it's why we have an epidemic of diet-related disease. Many industries have spread the message that it's all about personal choices -- because that works, too, to avoid questioning practices like marketing to kids.  I agree with the commenter who said that "moms need to make the choices that are best for their family and everyone else should butt out" -- but in saying “everyone else” I’d focus on the fast food industry. To learn more about this, I recommend watching this short video with the producer of the new documentary Fed Up: katiecouric.com/.../

Annie @ PhD in Parenting

Every single day I am inundated by messages from fast food companies. On twitter, on television, on facebook, in magazines, on trucks driving down the road, on billboards, and more. Other than moving to a cabin in the woods and shutting myself off completely, there is no way to escape it. They are relentless and those messages have been proven to work (why would they bother otherwise?). In Quebec, where advertising to children is prohibited, there has been a significant decrease in spending on fast food and in childhood obesity compared with nearby jurisdictions where advertising to children is still allowed. Is it the parents who take their kids to these places? Absolutely. But the relentless marketing from these companies plays a role.

Lizzie is a McDonald's employee. While she says that she tweeted from her personal account, it is an account that is called Lizzie_McD. Not Lizzie_Girl or Lizzie_Jones or ItsMeLizze. Her PERSONAL account has strong attachments to the brand she works for. Tweeting from that account or from the McDonald's account to insult an activist who is fighting against corporate marketing to children is inappropriate. It is also indicative of our acceptable of the power imbalance between individuals and corporations. When Lizzie and others who work at McDonald's spend their entire day and huge corporate marketing budgets telling us to go eat fast food, we accept that, and we say that if we go nonetheless that was our "personal choice" or our "personal weakness" (depending how you look at it). When Casey and other activists spend a good part of their day trying to counteract the messages from McDonald's, suddenly their ability to mother their children gets called into question. That is OUT OF LINE.

No one asked Lizzie why she isn't taking care of her kids when she is tweeting on behalf of McDonald's, so why is anyone questioning Casey's ability to mother her children when she is tweeting activist messages? Oh right, because working to further a capitalist agenda is perfectly fine, but activism is just bad parenting.

Lisa

Interesting perspective! But I'm wondering if this has more to deal with McDonald's overall lack of accountability and responsibility.

"McDonald's @McDonaldsCorp
Inadvertently sent from wrong acct. Mistake that was rectified w/in 1 minute. Responsibility & accountability taken."

How is McDonald's, or even the people they employ, being held accountable? Sending out a tweet that barely resembles a sympathetic concern doesn't seem to be sufficient or genuine for that matter. This is just one of the many examples of how McDonald's isn't being held accountable for what they do our food system in America, especially when they prey on kids who perhaps don't know better. Sure, parents do have the choice to guide their children to healthy lifestyles, but that role is undermined when these profit-driven corporations use cheap tricks to lure kids. The fact that these McDonald's corporate officials aren't being held responsible for these terrible consequences should be brought to light, and I support Leah and Casey's decision to do so.

Betsy (Eco-novice)

What Annie @ PhD in Parenting said.

jennifer

Being a fairly new member of Mamavation I have not been following the #momsnotlovinit campaign. Honestly  up until yesterday I had not even heard of it.

So I'm looking at this from an outsiders perspective. And what I see I don't like. From either side.  

I fully support Leah and Casey on their mission of food advocacy, but I also support capitalism and McDonald's is a business.

It's my job as a parent to advocate for MY kids and MY family. I'm much too busy to worry about the nearly 7 billion people on the planet.

I do understand how marketing works, and my kids and I talk (OFTEN!!) about how companies use advertising to get people to buy their products. Not just McDonald's, but Stonyfield, Organic Valley and others.

It's my job to teach my children to listen to their bodies and how their bodies respond when they fuel them with healthy foods -vs- unhealthy foods.  And at nearly 8, 9, and 10, they KNOW. They understand. It's something that we've been talking about since we embarked on this healthy path 5 years ago.

Processed foods (not just McDonald's) have done HORRIBLE things to our bodies. But again, I firmly believe in choice. If people don't choose to know where their food comes from, then that's their business.

There is so much evidence available from film documentaries, to peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, all people have to do is WANT to KNOW.

I still believe that there is more to the Casey/Lizzie story than what has been shared.

It was a mistake for Lizzie to tweet what she did, it was rude and likely uncalled for, but again...I feel that I don't know the whole story. It feels personal, and about so much more than just marketing tactics.

monica

I think the whole think was about the bigger picture of McDonalds marketing to kids. You cannot bring the personal side of it to this, because the problem is that Mamavation and Shiftcon are concerned about how McDonalds market to kids. Yes, as an adult you are responsible for what you eat, but happy meals and toys marketing to kids is what the whole #momsnotlovingit is about
Mamavation has accepted lots of people that want to lose weight and get healthy. They advice you what to eat, but they do not judge you if you decide to have fast food or sodas. They will encourage you to stop, but they will never put you down for it.
Take it for what it was, just a mistake on twitter, however also the irony that the brand that is marketing the wrong way to kids was giving advice about parenting.

jennifer

So I just watched the Ted X Manhattan talk and I'm very disturbed by the collection of personal information and the ability for food companies to send direct to consumer text messages as they approach nearby restaurants. That's very "big brother" to me and I have issues with that.

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