Amanda Berry Rescue: Is McDonald's Exploiting the Tragedy As a PR Stunt?

The man who has been deemed the hero in discovering three women who were missing for over a decade is being pursued by McDonald’s for a bizarre marketing campaign. Charles Ramsey heard the screams of a woman from a neighboring home in Cleveland and went to investigate. The woman turned out to be Amanda Berry, who went missing at 16-years-old in 2003. Ramsey recalls to reporters the moment he heard Berry’s screams, describing the McDonald’s meal he happened to be eating that day.

The video of his testimony has since gone viral, and the McDonald’s corporation has implied that they will reach out to Ramsey, but for what? The writing is certainly on the wall in that they will use this opportunity to exploit the situation in order to sell more burgers and happy meals.

"I heard screaming, I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of a house,” Ramsey told reporters.


When Berry fled from the home, she confirmed her identity to a 911 dispatcher. When authorities arrived at the Cleveland home, two other women who were also reported missing were found, and identified as Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. In addition, a 6-year-old child was found as well. More details surrounding the bizarre case are still under investigation.

McDonald’s responded to Ramsey’s unintentional advertisement of their company by launching this tweet:

Although the words “we’ll be in touch” are not completely explicit, I have a strong hunch that the corporation has some campaign in the works. However I can’t help but become enraged whenever I look at this tweet. What kind of ad could they possibly run with Ramsey? “McDonald’s customers are heroes.” Needless to say, the burger giant is taking clear advantage of the situation.

Their PR team is testing Americans’ intelligence that there was some causality between their burgers and the discovery of these high profile missing women. Not to mention how disrespectful such a campaign would be. Hopefully McDonald’s will not pursue anything further than just a tweet, because I would not be sold on a Ramsey hamburger ad.

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Shawna Gillen

Shawna is currently studying Political Science and Psychology at Marist College. She has a passion for politics and is an aspiring lawyer. In her spare time she likes to play club women's rugby, and contributes as the Co-News Editor for Marist's student newspaper.

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