McDonald’s CEO acknowledges ‘meaningful business impact’ amid boycott calls

McDonald’s Chief Executive, Chris Kempczinski, announced that the company has experienced a “meaningful business impact” following calls for a boycott of the fast-food chain.

The negative effects were observed in both Middle Eastern markets and some areas outside the region due to the boycott campaign against companies and products that support Israel.

In a blog post on LinkedIn published yesterday, Kempczinski wrote: “Several markets in the Middle East and some outside the region are experiencing a meaningful business impact due to the war and associated misinformation that is affecting brands like McDonald’s.”

“This is disheartening and ill-founded. In every country where we operate, including in Muslim countries, McDonald’s is proudly represented by local owner operators.”

He added: “Our hearts remain with the communities and families impacted by the war in the Middle East. We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone.”

McDonald’s faced criticism from pro-Palestinian campaigners as images and videos on social media revealed franchised stores in Israel providing free meals to its soldiers fighting in the war against Gaza, which sparked the anger of the Arab public and fuelled calls for a boycott.

In response, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, a pro-Palestinian organisation founded in 2005, urged people to boycott McDonald’s in November, noting that franchisees “openly supported” the Israeli military.

“Instead of pressuring its parent company, McDonald’s Corporation, to terminate its shameful franchise agreement in Israel, McDonald’s Malaysia and its Saudi owner are desperately trying to silence voices of peaceful solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle in Malaysia,” the group said.

“We cannot let this pass. Let’s show McDonald’s what grassroots boycotts can do.”

The McDonald’s Chief Executive’s post comes after McDonald’s Malaysia initiated legal action against a branch of the BDS movement earlier this week, alleging the dissemination of “false and defamatory statements” relating to Gaza, which the company claims has negatively impacted its business.

According to Reuters, Malaysia, being predominantly Muslim, has seen McDonald’s Malaysia pursue damages exceeding $1 million.

Related Articles

Back to top button