McDonald's unveils campaign to lose low-paid McJob tag

LONDON - McDonald's is set to launch a new advertising campaign that highlights the 'McOpportunities' of working for the food giant, in an attempt to shake off its low-paid 'McJob' label.

The poster campaign, which uses the slogan "not bad for a McJob" and will feature in 1,200 of the restaurant's UK outlets, stresses the advantages of working for the firm and this includes what it will call "McProspects".

David Fairhurst, McDonald's vice-president of people for Northern Europe, wants the campaign to dispel the myth that working for McDonald's is low-paid and semi-skilled.

Fairhurst said: "It will set the record straight. The existing definition of McJob is outdated. A huge gap exists between the external perception and the reality of working for McDonald's."

The campaign will also highlight "McFlexible" term-time contracts giving parents school holidays off.

It will promote the "McOpportunity" to progress, with workers given two pay reviews in the first year.

Fairhurst says that around 80% of the firm's restaurant managers started out as hourly-paid staff and more than half of the top UK bosses started their careers in the restaurants.

The campaign follows in the footsteps of the "My first job" TV ad campaign in September last year, which featured celebrities such as Olympic gold medallist Carl Lewis and singer Macy Gray telling how working at the fast-food giant gave them their start.

However, it will likely have a tough time throwing off the McJob tag, which was popularised by Douglas Coupland in his novel 'Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture'. The term was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2003 in the face of objections from the fast food giant.

The term has been in use since at least as early as 1986, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector".

The term "McJOBS" is also a trademark -- owned by McDonald's.

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