Monday, May 08, 2006

 

McDonald's and Disney

One thing we didn't talk about was social pressure that might change the dynamics of the layers (Hatten covers this a little in Risk Management). Given the increasing focus on Childhood Obesity, it seems that Disney has decided that it might be best to alter their relationship with McDonalds. Previously Disney was the primary sponsor of the Happy Meal. The Happy Meal has recently come under fire for contributing to the Obesity problem.

The interesting angle for our class is to look how this changes the layers. Disney has ended their exclusive relationship with McDonalds but has suggested that they will engage on a case by case basis. The risk here is that McDonalds finds another partner and locks Disney out. However, given the hot potato obesity issue it is likely that this will not happen (unless McDonalds surprises everyone and totally revamps their menu).

Disney gains power in this deal because they are no longer tied into a contract with the fading McDonalds. McDonalds may have once been a hub, but the social pressures are changing the layers. I am not sure that Disney has that many other options so they were forced to leave the door open for a possible return. I wonder if there will be any measurable effect on the sale of Happy Meals.

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