The coronavirus pandemic has been impacting everyday life in some profound ways, as people all across the world are encouraged to social distance and self-isolate to stop the virus' spread. There have already been several statewide and nationwide campaigns encouraging people to practice social distancing, and it looks like a handful of notable brands is joining in on the cause. In a series of now-deleted social media posts, McDonald's Brazil updated its logo to a new version of the iconic "golden arches", showing each arch significantly separated from each other. On Twitter, the icon was accompanied by a message, which roughly translated to "separated for a moment to always be together".
While the posts have since been deleted, they did briefly court a lot of attention on social media -- both positive and negative. Some have praised McDonald's for encouraging social distancing efforts, while others have considered it tone-deaf to launch this campaign when the company's employees are not being paid adequately.
The company has since given a statement to Fox News, acknowledging the backlash that the ad campaign received.
"As a brand that operates in nearly 120 countries, we share a collective responsibility to help our communities in times of need," the statement reads. "Throughout the world, we are modifying operations to adhere to social distancing guidelines and increasing our already strong hygiene standards to protect restaurant crew and the public. We apologize for any misunderstanding of the intent to remind our customers and communities on the importance of social distancing during these uncertain times."
The CDC officially defines social distancing as "remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible." Efforts to encourage social distancing have led to nationwide and statewide lockdowns or "shelter-in-place" advisories, in an attempt to "flatten the curve" of total illnesses and deaths due to the virus.
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