Last week Gilman Park “broke” the story about McDonalds’ new localwashing campaign in Seattle. Grist.org picked up on the post and took the story national, and asked folks if they’ve seen these billboards in other parts of the country. Grist used my photographs (noting the source), which have since shown up on numerous other sites (usually uncredited or credited to Grist).
It turns out that it is in fact a “local” campaign focused on western Washington. McDonalds issued a press release last Wednesday and launched a new website touting their use of Washington ingredients in products served in the state.
My favorite is the claim that “95 of 100 Filet-o-Fish sandwiches enjoyed here are caught in the Pacific Northwest.” Think about that for a moment. I can see the fisherman now. Excited to have a bite, he reels in his line only to find there’s a sandwich on the end, again. And what about the Filet-o-Fish sandwiches folks don’t enjoy? Where are they caught?
Grist has added a poll to their post asking if this is localwashing, even if McDonalds really does buy most of the potatoes grown in eastern Washington. Well, yes, of course it is, as they well know.
But what the folks who picked up on the post failed to note (aside from the original source in many cases) is how local the campaign actually is, with different billboards for different neighborhoods. At least I assume that’s the case. I’ve seen a number of the Pasco potatoes, Seattle fries signs in the past week, and this Skagit Valley apple, Seattle dip sign. I haven’t seen any other neighborhood-oriented ones.
Somebody posting on Grist did, however, note there is one of an apple that says: “Grown in Lake Chelan. Served in Lake City.” I like the parallel stucture, but I always thought apples grew on trees.