Robot 6

Asterix grabs a Big Mac


McDonald’s established a beachhead in France long ago, so I’m not exactly sure why this is news, except that August is a slow news month in France because everyone is on vacation: The handful of writers who are left to mind the store have apparently whipped themselves into a lather of indignation over the use of an Asterix cartoon to advertise McDonald’s.

“After resisting the Romans, have the Americans finally scalped the invincible little Gaul?” thundered Le Figaro, according to the UK paper The Telegraph. Having eaten pizzas shaped like Smurfs and ice cream from a plastic Pingu head when I lived over there, I’m not sure what the fuss is about. The French aren’t usually adverse to using licensed characters to sell crap, and this isn’t even the first time Asterix has been used to plug the Golden Arches; he subbed for Ronald McDonald briefly in 2001. Nonetheless, a spokesman for Asterix’s publisher, Albert René, had to rise to the Gauls’ defense: “Asterix remains a rebel,” he said. “He doesn’t work for (McDonald’s) but with (McDonald’s). The Gauls ‘come as they are’, as the slogan says. We are not defenders of ‘malbouffe’ (bad food)”. And, he pointed out, they declined to use Obelix in a Diet Coke ad because it did not “correspond to the values of the character.”

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo OK’d the ad campaign, and his studio did the art.

(Via ICv2.)



Bleeding Cool points out that a handful of people complained last time too, but all that happened was McDonalds increased their sales of burgers.

I points out that in France, they have a hissyfit about McDonald’s; in America we have a hissyfit about a proposed mosque.

It’s funny, really; for all our surface antagonism, we have much more in common with our sister republic than either of us really like to admit.

In France, Asterix represents the image of good French.
In the Comic, Obelix would make all for a good boar, it’s also a strong point of the album ‘the Great Crossing’ (Asterix in Native America). No fan can think that Obelix prefer eating a Big Mac with a Coca Cola rather than a wild boar and cervoise (Ancient Beer).
Including message does not ‘come as you are’, the Bard and the dog are outside.
But the French aren’t yet gastronomes, but fast food lovers who come in Mc Do for the family party or village party.
Asterix isn’t against Americans, but can’t be a fast food lover.

Nicolas (French)

Brigid Alverson

August 20, 2010 at 6:39 am

Good point, Nikolian. The French aren’t necessarily averse to McDonald’s—the McDo’s in the little village near where I lived was always packed. It’s the idea of *Asterix* eating there that set them off.

I do not sure to be well written. For me the advertising message is : the French aren’t yet gastronomes, but fast food lovers who come in Mc Do for the family party or village party.

But “Good Eat” it’s a very important think in French culture, the French aren’t averse to McDonald’s; we’ve many Mc Donald in France.
I can eat in Fast-Food before going to cinema, its very particle but it isn’t a gastronome restaurant, it’s impossible to eat in Mc Donald for a Gallic Diner where people singing and raising their glasses.

The Gallic Diner in Asterix is the picture of a French traditional family diner, it’s can’t be in a fast-food restaurant (Mc Donald, Pizza Hut, KFC or others)

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