Sunday, February 22, 2009

McDonalds Hates Sharks...Apparently

In response to a new McDonalds radio commercial on the east coast, Melanie Marks CEO of Shark Trust Wines sent the following email to McD's corporate headquarters this week.

Having personally known Melanie for over 6 years and her absolute dedication to shark conservation issues we'll agree with her take on this commercial having not yet heard it for ourselves. Sometimes you just have to act:

I recently heard a radio commercial for McDonald's that referenced the great white shark. More specifically, it promoted McDonald's at the expense of the great white. Sickened would not begin to describe how I felt about McDonald's when I heard this commercial.

The great white shark is on the endangered species list. It's population has declined by roughly 80% in the last 15 years and is expected to become extinct within the next several decades unless something is done to reverse this trend. In light of that, how can McDonald's approve an ad that contributes to the negative, and incorrect, image of this animal. Clearly, someone did not do their homework! A great leader once said, if you are not part of the solution than you are part of the problem.

I request that you immediately remove these extremely ignorant and inflammatory commercials from the air. I am prepared to organize a boycott of McDonald's if you do not do so immediately. And, to give you a sense of the power behind this statement, 30 million viewers tuned into Discovery Channel's Shark Week last year because they are interested in the fate of the shark.

I am an active voice in the ocean conservation community and I am not opposed to using that voice to send a message to McDonald's that your advertising campaign is malicious and contributing to the extinction of one of the great ocean animals.

I request that you respond to my request within 5 business days, or I will have no choice but to begin a PR campaign against McDonald's for your slander of an endangered animal.

Melanie Marks
Shark Trust Wines

Market Watch - EU Sharks

A large part of real and lasting shark conservation efforts is the engagement of major media outlets to carry shark stories. Kudos to Market Watch and Reuters this month for looking into the EU shark conservation issues:

Introducing David Shiffman to Underwater Thrills

A few months ago we began to take notice of a smart and prolific shark blogger at a site called Southern Fried Science.

The blogger as it turned out is David Shiffman. He is a Masters in Marine Biology student in South Carolina, and his research focuses on shark ecology and conservation. He is also an avid SCUBA diver and a supporter of responsible shark diving - our kind of guy.

David will be joining us from time to time here at UT as a guest blogger delving into the world of sharks, conservation, industry news and more. As this blog grows we are always looking for a "few good voices" to help move the conversation on sharks forward.

All our guest bloggers are independent voices. We are drawn to the world of sharks, conservation and research for a variety of personal reasons. The bloggers you read here are the ones we think have compelling, interesting, or noteworthy observations - and things to say about them.

Welcome to UT David!

Wild Aid - Mass Communication

One of the things that has impressed us with Wild Aid is their ability to mass communicate a message. Their recent efforts in China and India have impacted millions with prime time pro wildlife messaging brought to you by credible spokesmen and women.

This is how you do conservation. Smart messaging using old and new media with an eye towards this generation and the next: