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McDonald’s Deals With Backlash On Social Media Regarding $18 Big Mac Meal: This Week’s Chart

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In the era of social media, when knowledge travels quickly, McDonald’s has become entangled in a dispute that has sparked discussions on a number of sites. This week, a widely shared article about a $18 Big Mac meal catapulted the fast-food juggernaut into the public eye, sparking questions and concerns about its pricing policies and affordability.

The problem started when a genuine $18 Big Mac meal was uploaded online, sparking outrage among customers who have long considered McDonald’s to be the best place to get cheap fast food. The expensive pricing looked out of keeping with the chain’s image, which sparked a flurry of debates and false information on price increases and inflation. Even the X account for House Republicans weighed in, falsely reporting that Big Mac costs have increased since the outbreak started.

The Actual Figures Underlying the Debate

It is become harder to determine the real cost of ordinary things at a time when inflation has caused many prices to fluctuate. McDonald’s issued an apology and provided clarifications in response to the internet hysteria without delay. Both the corporation and financial pundits intervened to correct the record. The average cost of a Big Mac has risen by 21% since 2019, according to Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman. This is actually less than the rates of food inflation (28%), and total inflation (23%). Additionally, nonsupervisory workers’ earnings have increased by 28%, suggesting that, in terms of real income, buying a burger now isn’t as taxing.

A Note from US President McDonald’s

The US president of McDonald’s, Joe Erlinger, responded to the controversy with an open letter, offering the most substantial refutation. Erlinger voiced his displeasure and worries about the false information that is becoming viral online. He emphasized that, among the more than 13,700 McDonald’s restaurants in the US, the $18 Big Mac meal was a unique occurrence that happened at only one location.

“Even if there was only one Big Mac meal sold at one of the more than 13,700 locations in the US, it still irritates and worries me and many of our franchisees,” Erlinger wrote. “What’s more concerning, though, is when people start to suggest that the cost of a Big Mac has increased by 100% since 2019 or when they think that this is the norm rather than the exception.” He underlined that value and affordability, which are essential components of the company’s brand identity, are still priorities.

Market Performance and Investor Concerns

The open letter may have given investors the impression that the company was desperate and defensive. This follows McDonald’s unsatisfactory financial results from last month, when the company revealed lower-than-expected foot traffic and consumer spending. A quick look at McDonald’s stock performance indicates the main cause for concern. The stock has only gained 28% over the last five years, in line with many of its customers’ pay rises. The S&P 500 returned 90% during the same period, far more than this little gain, which would drastically distort the size of any comparable graphic.

In Action: The Streisand Effect

The $18 Big Mac article that went viral and had almost half a million views is a prime example of the Streisand effect, which occurs when attempts to censor information unintentionally make it more visible. The tweet brought attention to a sensitive matter for the corporation, despite McDonald’s efforts to rectify the narrative: the impression of its affordability. The McDonald’s crew was eager to handle the delicate situation and reassure investors and consumers, so they responded quickly.

Marketing at McDonald’s and Its Prospects

McDonald’s is well-known for its aggressive marketing tactics, which are highlighted by its catchy “Billions Served” tagline, Dollar Menu, Value Meals, and classic jingles. Although the company posted an odd open letter on its investor relations page, it is anticipated that it would use its marketing expertise to handle the present debate and reaffirm its dedication to affordability.

If these efforts result in noticeable outcomes in the upcoming quarters, that will be the true litmus test. McDonald’s will have to prove to its clientele that it is still a brand that values quality, particularly in this difficult economic moment. The company’s ability to control public opinion and fulfill its value promise will be critical as it navigates this difficult time.

The $18 Big Mac meal scandal that McDonald’s has faced serves as a reminder of the difficulties in controlling disinformation on social media and the influence it has on public opinion. Even if the business has taken action to resolve the issue, it is unclear how this will affect its reputation in the long run and how loyal its customers will be. In order to sustain its standing in the cutthroat fast-food sector, McDonald’s will need to successfully convey its commitment to value and affordability to all of its stakeholders, including consumers.

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