Maccas-funded show McDonald’s Gets Grilled gets 761,000

A show about and funded entirely by McDonald’s, which shows lettuce being washed in chlorine and sugar added to fries, rated with 761,000 viewers on Seven last night.

The show, called McDonald’s Gets Grilled, made the top five most-watched shows in the 18-49 and 16-39 demographics.

It aired during the 9.30pm time slot, beating an episode of NCIS, which rated with 620,000, Q&A on ABC1, which claimed 579,000, and Person of Interest on Nine, which took 318,000.

Seven’s Revenge was back on top of Monday night viewing, winning the night with 1.415m during the Easter non-ratings period.

For the second time in two weeks in the battle of breakfast, Nine’s Today beat Sunrise. Today took 366,000 while Sunrise rated with 354,000.


  1. Leslie
    3 Apr 12
    11:15 am

  2. Well done, Australia. As a reward, the 2012-13 upfronts will be nothing but adverdocos and oedipal nightmares.

  3. Kelly
    3 Apr 12
    12:44 pm

  4. To be honest, I expected a bigger story on this today. I watched it out of morbid curiosity, and followed the debate on Twitter where I didn’t see a single positive comment.

    The whole thing was just revolting – dubious ‘real people’ who went from hating McDonalds to willingly saying that the Big Mac “wasn’t too bad”. Pre-prepared ‘tough questions’ about lettuce washing, the use of phosphates and fat levels in certain products that were all easily explained away and swallowed whole by the ‘investigators’.

    I can’t believe Channel 7 agreed to this form of programming – will be interesting to see Media Watch’s take on how it blurs the lines between advertising and genuine content.

  5. julie
    3 Apr 12
    1:28 pm

  6. I watched the first 10 minutes, and thanks to the Steve Liebmann narration, kept thinking about Crime Investigation Australia…now that was a good show.

  7. Not so Hungry Jack
    3 Apr 12
    1:47 pm

  8. Just goes to show what paying $2m for a sponsorship of My Kitchen Rules and a majority share to Seven will give you in added value these days – obviously a 1 hour advertorial over a non ratings week.

    Or if this isn’t the case, does that mean that Seven would be prepared to air a “documentary” funded by KFC, Pizza Hut, Red Rooster or Burger King?

  9. BK
    3 Apr 12
    2:06 pm

  10. I thought it was hard hitting and a credit to all involved.

  11. Ruthers
    3 Apr 12
    2:06 pm

  12. I think the fact that it followed Revenge might have had something to do with the audience it pulled, not the content.

  13. GC
    3 Apr 12
    2:15 pm

  14. Did they show how the mechanically separated meat gets made?

  15. robb
    3 Apr 12
    2:31 pm

  16. Maccas might have paid for it, yes it still wasn’t as biased as Q&A.

    I’m glad it beat the weekly Tony Jones/lefty love-in.

  17. Tom
    3 Apr 12
    2:32 pm

  18. Given that one week of filming with three teams of two was edited down to 40 odd minutes wasn’t going to produce an in-depth documentary.
    Clearly no one was advocating that Macca’s was good for you and that it should be eaten with any regularity. They identified high salt, fat and sugar content in the foods examined. Given the limited timeframe and lack of forewarning of the subject by the six investigators maybe we should put it into perspective.
    Regular comments and references were made to Macca’s as fast or junk food. I don’t think anyone said it was healthy. It is what it is… fast food, and we can choose to eat it or not.

  19. Annie Chickenstalker
    3 Apr 12
    2:41 pm

  20. And I thought it was the “Pig Fat” that made the 30c Cones so GREAT !

  21. Darth Vader
    3 Apr 12
    2:58 pm

  22. @Kelly of course the people were going to seemingly suddenly change their opinions of McDonald’s. The company wouldn’t have willingly paid money to paint themselves in a negative light. That’s just common sense.

  23. Stuart
    3 Apr 12
    3:01 pm

  24. I’m with Kelly (#2 comment) –> this has all the hallmarks of a total social and PR failure of #qantas proportion, but very little analysis by Mumbrella…

  25. Makenzie
    3 Apr 12
    3:33 pm

  26. Interesting to see so many people were watching…and also a bit scary to think even a percentage of the viewers believed it. I wrote a post this morning on all the ridiculous quotes and facts in the dock, my review here:

  27. Livia
    3 Apr 12
    3:39 pm

  28. Kelly.. I couldn’t agree more.

    As a young journalist I was appalled at channel 7’s screening of the self-funded “Mc Donald’s Gets Grilled” documentary last night.

    Palming off this piece of shameless advertising as honest, investigative reporting was misleading, embarrassing and dangerous.

    The ‘6 ordinary Aussies’ chosen were a far cry from the serious investigative reporters Mc Donald’s should have sent in to their factories and farms if they really wanted to prove they had nothing to hide. I don’t blame the participants for asking simply questions. They aren’t reporters.

    It was cringeworthy to see their immense thanks at having the Mc Donalds CEO grace them with her presence and “precious time”. One female participant described the CEO as being “thrown to the sharks”. Really? More like to a pond of lobotomised goldfish.

    It is completely unacceptable to have this kind of crap broadcast to a public that don’t have the tools to analyse what they are seeing. To have viewers go away believing a company has been genuinely investigated, questioned and “grilled” on their operation and morals when really they have been subjected to an hour of badly cut and poorly narrated fluff.

  29. Christian Mitchell
    3 Apr 12
    4:39 pm

  30. When you do your breakfast ratings, could you please inculde the ratings for Channel Ten’s ‘Breakfast’? I find it really frustrating that your leaving it out…


  31. robb
    3 Apr 12
    4:54 pm

  32. Few lefty conspiracy theorists here.

    Anything trying to make money is ‘evil’. Well, of course it is.

  33. Anonymous
    3 Apr 12
    5:31 pm

  34. shit ‘program’. shit food.

  35. ethan
    3 Apr 12
    6:28 pm

  36. Two words.

    A Disgrace.

  37. Diandra
    3 Apr 12
    7:47 pm

  38. I thought it was OK. They raised issues with sugar, phosphates (whatever they are).

    I thought it was fair

  39. Chris G
    3 Apr 12
    9:51 pm

  40. I like Maccas, infact, I had breakast ther yesterday, and we watch a lot of Channel 7 but I don’t need a hour long promo with little entertainmant value, dressed up as a TV programme. You won’t catch me again.

  41. Insider
    3 Apr 12
    10:30 pm

  42. Not so Hungry Jack nailed it above. It was scheduled as part of a bigger ‘deal’ to secure a big fat share of McDonald’s ad spend with Seven. Wait for the other two cash strapped Networks to follow suit with other clients. A free Programme to place in a non ratings period with a large bundle of cash attached to it is way too tempting in a tight ad market for a broadcaster to refuse.
    Can’t wait for the Bing Lee ‘How a deal is done’ special or the Harvey Norman bathroom renovation special.

  43. Stuart
    4 Apr 12
    8:26 am

  44. Insider –> i am looking forward to the Harvey Norman “how to do ecommerce well” starring Gerry Harvey….that’d be a corker!!

  45. Prudence Milton
    4 Apr 12
    6:33 pm

  46. It was pleasing to see they interviewed real Australian farmers

  47. megan
    5 Apr 12
    12:06 am

  48. Watched the first 5 Minutes of the program and once I heard it was funded by McDonalds it already lost me…. other wise it would have been on sbs or abc. Poor viewing.

  49. Dorothy
    5 Apr 12
    2:34 pm

  50. Australian television is very rapidly going down the gurgler. This makes me really uncomfortable that networks are letting this happen. We all know media spend works – added value, rigging the odd ‘popular vote’ competition here and there, and advertorials that look so much like editorial you don’t even realise, but this is blatant and brazen. The sad thing is, the DEFG demographic (also affectionately known as the Today Tonight or A Current Affair audience) don’t realise what this mutton is and consume it blindly. For shame, Channel 7 and McDonalds.

  51. nesat
    5 Apr 12
    2:45 pm

  52. what a load of rubbish what is this world coming to channel 7 what is next,,,,,you might as well start advertising for drug dealers and try to make them look good,,,,, channel seven you are just like a prostitute you will do any thing for money

  53. Offal Spokesperson
    5 Apr 12
    2:51 pm

  54. Insider… i think youve missed it. Hasnt every locally made “reality show” been little more than carefully managed advertising spots for the last 10 years?