Boycott Watch
July 17, 2006
N.J. Mayor Threatens Boycott of McDonald's Over Spanish Billboard
    NJ Mayor Threatens Boycott of McDonald's Over Spanish Billboard

   Mayor Steve Lonegan (R) of Bogota, New Jersey is calling for a boycott of McDonald's if the fast-food chain does not take down a Spanish-language billboard advertising iced coffee within his city limits. In an interview on Fox News, Mayor Lonegan stated that 20% of his community speaks Spanish and that such a billboard divided his community, thus he insisted on its removal.

   Should a mayor dictate business activity within the city limits? City councils and mayors do it daily.

   New Jersey area radio station WCBS 880 states "An executive for billboard company CBS Outdoor tells The Record of Bergen County the advertising is credible, appropriate and in good taste. Jodi Senese says the ad is not coming down." The site offers the following disclaimer: "Both CBS Outdoor and WCBS-AM are owned by the CBS Corporation."

   A search of the web site as of July 16, 2006 revealed no statements by McDonald's regarding this matter. It is important to note that such advertisements are handled by advertising agencies and are placed based upon demographic and other factors. While these matters are not necessarily under the direct control of McDonalds, companies such as McDonalds will always retain veto power over all advertisements placed in their name. So, although McDonald's may wish to stay out of such a controversy in fear of copy-cat incidents happening across the country, McDonalds is appearently referring people to the ad agency for comment to separate themselves from the conflict. Is that the best approach? You decide.

   Boycott Watch will follow this story and post updates as available.

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