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.