McDonald's was criticized for what many perceived as a petty and passive aggressive response to Burger King's public proposal that they sell a hybrid "McWhopper" to raise money for charity on Peace One Day.
"Burger King genuinely wants to unite with McDonald’s on September 21, 2015, to prepare and serve the McWhopper and get the world talking about Peace Day," the burger chain said in an online and print-media blitz on Wednesday.
McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook responded that same day in a Facebook post
"Inspiration for a good cause . . . great idea. We love the intention but think our two brands could do something bigger to make a difference," he wrote.
"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 . . . P.S. A simple phone call will do next time."
McDonald's response was met negatively by fans who'd held out hope for the McWhopper, with one commenter writing, "Wow McDonald's . . . what a shame. A simple gesture of good faith turned down so passively aggressively," E! Online reported
"McDonald's wants to be a buzzkill and instead try to be all righteous with some phantom plan to raise global awareness," said another.
Yahoo News reported that more than 2,500 online commenters expressed dissatisfaction with the reply from Easterbrook.
The fast-food industry has seen sales slump in recent years as people, especially young consumers, seek out healthier options.
"The downturn has been so significant that in May the company announced that it will no longer share monthly sales reports with the public," wrote Yahoo.
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