Animal Equality Calls Out McDonald’s in New York for Advertising Week

Advocates from Animal Equality recently traveled to New York for New York Advertising Week to call on restaurant giant McDonald’s to ban the worst abuses to baby birds in its supply chain.

WHY NEW YORK AD WEEK: New York Ad Week, a worldwide gathering of marketing and brand professionals, is sponsored by McDonald’s. That’s why we had demonstrators, leafleters, a mobile billboard circling the event (as well as McDonald’s nearby flagship location in the heart of Times Square), and ran constant digital advertising at the event to call on the restaurant to stop the abuses of baby chickens by its suppliers.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Additionally, Animal Equality purchased a billboard during the month of September to overlap with New York Ad Week. The billboard is positioned next to the New York Times building and looks directly into the newspaper’s newsroom. The purchase is part of a coalition effort taking place throughout the country calling on McDonald’s to make reforms that are resoundingly supported by independent members of the scientific community and include: 

  1. Switching to healthier breeds of birds.
  2. Allowing the baby chickens more room to move around.
  3. Providing better living conditions, including clean litter, that allow for natural behaviors.
  4. Agreeing to third-party inspections.

WHAT WE’RE SAYING: “What McDonald’s doesn’t advertise is how far behind its competitors it is on animal welfare. says Maral Cavner, Animal Equality’s Corporate Campaigns Coordinator. “We are in an era where we’re calling on corporations to be leaders and McDonald’s certainly has the power to eliminate the worst abuses in factory farming. Why won’t it?”

SPOTTED IN CHICAGO: McDonald’s felt the heat during New York Ad Week back in Chicago too, where the corporation has its headquarters. Despite the city being a notoriously difficult place to secure advertising that calls out the conglomerate, Animal Equality was able to have 750 posters plastered “everywhere” around the city about #McChickenCruelty during the Ad Week festivities.

BACKGROUND: Over 300,000 people have signed a petition calling on McDonald’s to make the compassionate choice, there have been countless protests across the U.S. and U.K. outside the company’s headquarters, shareholders’ meetings, and restaurant locations, and our coalition of animal protection organizations has been running non-stop online and even television ad campaigns about the issue. Full-page open letters have appeared in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Joaquin Phoenix, and Kristen Bell sent an open letter to the company asking it to adopt the same standards as competitors, and the New York State Pension Fund, which owns $300 million in McDonald’s stock, wrote to the company’s board urging it to adopt the modest improvements that consumers are requesting. Yet, McDonald’s continues to drag its feet.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The best way to help chickens and other animals raised for meat is simply by not eating them, but you can also help the millions of baby birds suffering for McDonald’s right now by joining us in asking the fast-food chain to ban the cruelest farming practices in its supply chain.

Over 200 brands – including many of McDonald’s competitors like Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, and more – have already committed to making meaningful changes that will improve the lives of these smart and social animals. Meanwhile, McDonald’s continues to put profit over compassion. Tell McDonald’s it is time to change.

For more information about the campaign, visit