Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You know an industry has a powerful lobby when... can't even poke fun at it in an ad.

For the Super Bowl, Nationwide Mutual Insurance commissioned a commercial where Kevin Federline is starring in a music video and living the good life... with the joke being that it is all a daydream and he is in fact making fries at a fictional fast food restaurant.

The National Restaurant Association apparently didn't like that too much, because as the organization's president wrote, it is a "strong and direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry" and the ad "would give the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant" [The quotes are derived from this Yahoo! News article]

Now I must ask, are they mad that the implication is that working in fast food is not an exciting and wholly fulfilling enterprise for the majority of people, or are they upset that Kevin Federline is the party working at one of these establishments in the ad?

I decided to see if the National Restaurant Association had made similar statements about other major media releases in recent years.

Morgan Spurlock and Super Size Me- The organization named him one of the top five food villains of 2004. (Golly!)

Fast Food Nation and Eric Schlosser- And I quote:
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is one individual's biased attempt to convince the American consumer to stop eating food from restaurants they enjoy frequenting. In addition to acting like the "food police," and trying to coerce the American consumer to never eat fast-food again, the author recklessly disparages an industry that has contributed tremendously to our nation by providing millions of consumers the option of choosing a range of high-quality food items that they love, providing tremendous job and career opportunities and boosting the national economy.

Kevin Smith, Clerks II, the movie entitled Waiting, South Park, The Simpsons- Not a peep.

So with those reference points in mind, the idea of Kevin Federline working in fast food in essence brings down the integrity of the entire industry according to the criticism leveled by the National Restaurant Association. Kevin Federline is certainly a more powerful entity than I would have ever given him credit for. Of course, we all know that he is going to be working in one sooner or later, and there is nothing the NRA can do about it.


Burbanked said...

ha haha ha ha.

They're called "the NRA". And someday we'll be able to pry Kevin Federline from THEIR COLD DEAD FINGERS.

ha ha.

MC said...

Wouldn't you rather they try to pry themselves from his cold dead fingers?

Mayren said...

i had heard of the Micky D's commercial spot from my buds Kevin & Bean on the world famous KROQ -

So do you get a feeling that the spot might not make it to air?

I myself don't like NFL/AFL football but i do watch the superbowl for the commercials. I love College ball but the commercials are pretty crap.

Diesel said...

So Fast Food Nation is an attempt to "coerce" people into not eating fast food? I wonder what they would say about a constant campaign of media bombardment so effective that more children can recognize Ronald McDonald than Mickey Mouse.

I just finished reading Fast Food Nation for my "Make Diesel Read" contest, btw. My comments are here.

MC said...

Mayren: I think it will run, and the media will talk and talk about it. Not enough pressure yet to get it removed.

diesel: I just find it funny that basically K-Fed playing a fast food employee is on the same level as two really vocal critics of the industry. It is a strange juxtaposition, I'll tell you what.

jimmycanuck said...

Fantastic post MC. I haven't commented in awhile - but I just wanted to let you know I'm still reading and loving every minute of it! :D

It's Me, Maven... said...

Yet, somehow, I think K-Fed will feel right at home with a hair net and plastic food service gloves on...not that it would do any good. Yanno how some folks want to "bring sexy back?" I think K-fed makes me "K-fed-up" and makes me want to "bring my lunch back up."

MC said...

Maven: Well, with him working in a fast food restaurant, he will have a much smaller platform to make people sick.

Jimmy: Well, hopefully you will soon be back in the regular blogging community after the retooling.

Jeremy said...

Nice bit of research there, MC. I'm just gald that we won't have to endure watching the ad up here in the frozen north.

MC said...

Well, depending on if the CRTC decided to once again to present the super bowl on a Canadian network despite the American channel I am watching, I may not see it either.

jimmycanuck said...

Hey now! I've still been in the blogging community - just not any of the sites you read. :P

Just a heads up - we'll be relaunching f/j a little sooner than expected - this Monday to be exact. Stay tuned!