McDonald's hires Blue Rubicon for PR

Fast food giant McDonald's has hired Blue Rubicon to carry out a UK PR campaign aimed at changing perceptions of the company's employment practices and challenging the concept of the poorly-paid, untrained 'McJobber'.

The campaign, understood to be worth an estimated six-figure sum, will seek to 'debunk myths' about the quality of McDonald's employees and employment practices.

While perceptions are of an unqualified workforce working for low hourly wages, the campaign will draw attention to the fact that new staff can rise to management positions in as little as 18 months.

It will also promote the fact that more than two-thirds of McDonald's restaurant managers started as hourly paid staff members and almost a fifth of McDonald's franchisees - now running on average £2m a year businesses - were also once hourly paid employees.

Blue Rubicon MD Fraser Hardie, who will lead a team of five reporting to McDonald's head of corporate affairs Nick Hindle, said the campaign aims to re-define the way McDonalds is seen as an employer among opinion-formers.

Late last year Chancellor Gordon Brown prompted a skills and training debate, calling for a focus on how training can help young people move up the skills ladder.

Globally, attention has been focused on McDonalds' restructuring programme, which has seen it close 175 restaurants, lay off 600 corporate staff and pull out of three countries.

In late February the company announced that it expected to make its first ever annual loss.

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