If you cast your eyes across Seven on Monday night after Revenge you’ll catch an Aussie-made documentary titled McDonald’s Gets Grilled.
The film, produced by WTFN sees six volunteers putting Maccas food under the microscope, visiting suppliers including vegetable farmers and Ingham Chickens. But unlike SuperSize Me, this one has been funded by McDonald’s Australia.
So does that make it an advertorial or a documentary? Seven didn’t pay for the film.
McDonald’s insists it did not impose any editorial control and the people recruited by WTFN were unaware of the program’s nature until shooting began.
WTFN is one of the most successful producers of branded entertainment in Australia including Sudden Impact, Guide to the Good Life, Supercar Showdown, Shopping for Love as well as broader hits such as Bondi Vet, Trishna & Krishna, Coxy’s Big Break and Mercurio’s Menu.
Seven spokesman, Simon Francis, said there was no connection between the film’s screening and the fact the company is a major advertiser on Seven; the company spends $33 million a year on ads across all media. The doco also gets a bumper lead in, with nearly 2m viewers watching Revenge.
Geoff Brown, executive director of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, said, ”From our point of view, it’s an advertorial and not a documentary.”
The Australian Communications and Media Authority would not comment until it had seen the show.
In this Easter non-ratings period, it isn’t the only oddity in Seven’s schedule.
On Good Friday it will screen An Innocent Man, a half hour docudrama produced for the Christian Television Association. It isn’t clear whether CTA has paid for the airtime, or whether Seven has donated it as part of its religious programming commitments.
McDonald’s Gets Grilled
Fast food is full of fat, sugar and preservatives. It’s slowly killing us, contributing to a worldwide epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. This documentary targets one of the world’s most famous but equally controversial companies, McDonald’s. Six volunteers, as chosen by a team of investigative journalists, are given an all-access pass to McDonald’s, set out to ask the tough questions about what goes into the food they eat, including the use of pesticides and preservatives, as well as issues surrounding staff exploitation, hygiene, holding periods and how the food tastes. As we follow this intriguing journey it will be more than a program about fast food. It’s a social experiment. One that tests whether people, faced with overwhelming evidence challenging their long-held prejudices, can ever accept the truth.