McDonald's sorry for burger blunder
"Tasteless," is how charitable groups have branded a McDonald's burger in Norway that they claim ignores the starvation crisis in Africa. McDonald's is red-faced, and may donate proceeds from its controversial "McAfrika" burger.
"It's inappropriate and distasteful to launch a hamburger called 'McAfrika' when large portions of southern Africa are on the verge of starvation," says Linn Aas-Hansen of Norwegian Church Aid.
She stood outside a McDonald's restaurant in downtown Oslo this week, passing out free "catastrophe crackers" to passersby in protest. "This is a special, protein-rich cracker that we hand out to people in the hunger-stricken areas," she said.
Among those who got a taste of the crackers was an apologetic spokesperson for McDonald's in Norway, Margaret Brusletto.
She said McDonald's was sorry the name of its new burger, meant to reflect an African recipe, has negative connotations. "That wasn't our intention," she said. "At the same time, we acknowledge that we have chosen an unfortunate time to launch this new product."
There was no word as to whether McDonald's will pull its "McAfrika" burger off the market despite the protests in Norway, where aid organizations have launched one of the world's largest relief programs ever aimed at getting food to starving millions in southern Africa.
McDonald's officials, however, were due to meet representatives of the aid organizations on Thursday. "We expect that McDonald's will contribute to the fight to stem starvation," said Bjorg Mide of Norwegian Church Aid. "The company can, for example, share proceeds from the sale of this hamburger with the aid organizations."
Brusletto said that's "a possibility we will consider."