What’s Wrong With This Picture?

August 25th, 2007 by MamaBear

Take a good look at this picture:


Looks like a sweet baby, gleefully sucking on a sesame seed bun. How innocent. How adorable.

The above picture is of a real ad for McDonald’s in Austria. It is not a parody. The advertiser, whose website is in German, still lists the image, which was used on billboards (and probably still is), as one of its apparently proud achievements. If you go to CCP Heye’s Kreation page, click on the McDonald’s potato image, and then once in the media box, click on where it says in tiny letters “PRINT,” you’ll eventually see the baby suckling image. It’s the seventh of eight print advertisements made for McDonald’s by CCP Heye.

In looking at this image, used for the purposes of promoting the sale of over-sugared, devoid-of-nutrition, soaked-in-partially-hydrogenated-oil snacks which are barely fit for human consumption, I am at a loss for where to begin… Is it because the image of an innocent baby, way too young to be eating solid foods, is used to promote the consumption of junk food? Is it because the photo is clearly a Photoshopped image of a babe at the breast, breastfeeding, consuming the most perfect of foods, and that the purity of this image is being corrupted and exploited for the purposes of monetary gain? Or is it because if the image weren’t Photoshopped, if the image were left alone and you could see that the child isn’t suckling on a sesame seed bun but on its mother’s own naked breast, that that image would be the one causing controversy? Maybe it’s all that and more, that people will see this image and not realize that that’s what it is, a baby breastfeeding innocently, photographed, the image stripped of the breast and replaced with a hamburger bun, and used to promote unhealthy eating… They won’t know, and possibly, won’t care… After all, it’s just a picture, right?

I think I just puked a little in my mouth.

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20 Responses to “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”

  1. Lesley Says:

    I’m at a total loss. That’s just disgusting.

  2. Gillian Says:

    That makes me want to vomit. They don’t know how wrong that is?

  3. halfpintpixie Says:

    oh that’s just a whole new level of wrong… how do they think up this ads?

  4. candice Says:

    that’s… shocking honestly. I wonder how the WHO would feel about that.

  5. Melissa Says:

    To quote a great line from SNL, “Who are the ad wizards who came up with that one?!” Nothing is sacred.

  6. niki Says:

    that is disgusting…

  7. aine from mdc Says:

    omfg, i am outraged. that company is just begging for a smackdown :(

  8. MotherVerse Says:

    Talk about an outrage! But having been witness to my sister’s near removal from a Ronald McDonald House in Houston for breastfeeding her sick child I an not surprised. Thanks for posting this.

  9. abra Says:

    Oh, my! Not that I needed another reason to boycott this evil establishment, but man, this ad seals the deal. It is completely obscene!

  10. Stacie Says:

    Among other things, it’s a really stupid ad as1) babies don’t eat at McDonalds and 2) who are they trying to appeal to here? Breastfeeding mothers, who are the ones who will recognize a latch right away, are going to be irritated. Other people may just wonder, “Why is that baby kissing a hamburger?”

    Dumb, dumb ad. Of course, it’s not like I eat at McDonalds anyway…

  11. Kris Says:

    That is disgusting. Can’t think of anything else to describe at this point.

  12. Aja Says:

    That’s sad. Baby drinking mama’s milk=bad, baby sucking hamburger=good? What is this world coming to?

  13. Emilie Says:

    It’s very bizarre, not to mention very disturbing…I don’t understand who they are trying to target with this ad.

  14. ame Says:

    all the mum’s of 6 month olds who are already eating fries will be reassured that what they are doing is ok….
    of course all the sane mothers in the world will be disgusted or do as i am doing and shake their heads in disbelief and wonder how on earth we will ever educate those that already think they know

  15. MamaBear Says:


    You are so right about that… Yet another reason to feel disgusted.

  16. MamaBear Says:

    Stacie and Emilie: I believe they’re trying to target children mainly and their parents second. I think seeing a baby appearing to be sucking on a hamburger bun is reassuring to parents who already feed their children unhealthy food, as Ame mentioned, and it gives a not-so-subtle message to children that, “If a baby can eat it, so can I!”

  17. The MotherVerse Magazine Blog: a literary blog of motherhood Says:

    […] won’t post the disgusting image here but you can view the story and image at Breastfeeding Symbol.org. digg_url = […]

  18. nutrition children Says:

    I love your writing and your thoughts — both are so sophisticated, yet at the same time casual and comfortable. Thank you for the entertainment and the inspiration to challenge myself …

  19. Kelly Says:

    As if I wasn’t already ticked off at McDonald’s for the nasty crap that they inject into their “bionic burgers”, I think that this terribly frightening and discusting parody takes the cake and goes WAY too far. This definately reminds me of why I’ll never step foot in or go through the drive through of a McDonald’s restaurant.

  20. James Akre Says:

    For my perverse purposes only, I place this photo montage - all the more since it appears to be genuine (if still illegitimate) advertising - in the “it’s so bad it’s good” basket. It really does speak volumes about the very concept of fast-food and the introduction of a nursling only compounds the offense. But it also illustrates, for my purposes, the nature of infant formula when fed routinely in a non-emergency context: an inert pediatric fast-food that is based on the milk of an alien species that remains forever a deviation from the biological norm for the young of our species.

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