An article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald details McDonald’s recent ‘transparency’ based PR stunt in which they have created an access-all-areas documentary, produced by an independent production company.

If I were to be objective (and trusting of McDonalds) I probably wouldn’t call it a ‘stunt’, I would call it an education program of sorts. The aim according to McDonald’s CEO, Catriona Noble, is to bust some of the negative myths surrounding the brand.

“We have done a lot to bust myths … but, even in our own lives we come across people [who believe them] …. we’ve made ads that tell the truth and people still don’t believe it’.

The documentary ‘brings to the table’ the process from paddock to plate, which is scrutinised by six diverse members of the public, who go around asking questions at all stages of the supply, production and preparation chain.

Sounds pretty transparent… So why am I filled with such scepticism? Shouldn’t we be advocating transparency in corporation’s relations with clients? Doesn’t that imply respect for the consumer? After all, Noble suggests that after watching this documentary “people will decide for themselves”.

What sort of companies do you think this all-access documentary style campaign would work for?

Surely a company has to have a profound existing reputation, good or bad, in order for a ‘transparency campaign’ to work.

And perhaps it would work better for those corporations we love to hate. Do we want out negative myths busted, or do we want them reaffirmed? Either way, I think people are going to take notice of this documentary.

-Gill Asbury