Do You Think Wendy's Made a Mistake with Its Diabetes Fundraising Promotion?

We ran an article this morning on Diabetes News Hound about a promotion from the fastfood restaurant Wendy’s that was aiming to raise money for diabetes research by selling coupon books for its very sugary frosty products. The push did raise significant money for charity, but some have criticized it as misguided because of the focus on the sugar-filled drinks. Check out the full article here.

Do you think Wendy’s should change its approach?

The Rest of the Sept. 16, 2009 Headlines from DIABETES NEWS HOUND

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LOL! Why not a book for salads instead?

Wendy’s coupon approach with their milkshakes to support fundraising is not new. The focus is on fundraising. Just beacuse the drinks have 41 grams of carbs does not mean the intent of that drink is for a diabetic. Nor does a milkshake cause Type 1 Diabetes which the money was being raised for.

Misguided, I’m not sure, I would disagree and say successful with the amount of money they raised. Would we not accept money from Hersheys or McDonalds. I think not. Money talks, the bigger question is what we do with the money I think.

Don’t they raise money specifically for JDRF? I remember years ago thinking that it was odd as anything that they’d be selling something loaded with sugar as a fundraiser, but on the flip side, if it’s one of their most popular items and they’re raising money, is it truly a bad thing?

They done this same promotion for a very long time…it’s always been frosty’s.

It’s misguided although filled with good intentions. Why not have coupons for a different product that they sell? One that would be a good part of any healthy diet - forget about diabetes.

When I participated in my first walk for JDRF, I was shocked at the food they had waiting for the walkers at the end of the course. Ice cream, hot dogs on a big fluffy bun, potato chips, cookies, and bananas plus soft drinks, some of which were diet. Considering the fact that they had an area at the beginning of the race with booths from various companies whose products target diabetics, shouldn’t they have called on some of those companies to supply healthier choices? I contacted the local office a couple of weeks after the walk to register my complaint and to volunteer to help find sponsors who would provide healthier options. The response: most of the people who volunteer for the walk aren’t diabetic so we serve them what they like.

Wow. How clueless.

The JDRF snacks were amazingly clueless!

While it’s not Wendy’s role to be educating, you’d think they would have made a better choice as a fund-raiser. We know that sugar doesn’t cause diabetes, but it’s an odd choice to associate diabetes research with milkshakes. Most marketing people are smarter than this. It’s like promoting double cheese bacon burgers for the Heart Assoc:)

But hey, research dollars are needed.

Guess what? I’m in marketing! :slight_smile:

I just want to have it both ways – raising lots of money AND staying within healthy eating guidelines. A gal can dream, can’t she?

(I know that tone is hard to read in e-mail/posts – so please know that I’m smiling and not attacking you.)

Here in Wisconsin (where beer and alcohol in general are a HUGE part of daily life), we had an uproar a few years back about concessions sold during youth softball/baseball games. One particular town allowed beer sales during games, which was a huge source of revenue to support the kids’ softball/baseball program. Some parents were concerned that selling beer at children’s events sent a bad message to the kids. Other parents were concerned that stopping beer sales would severely affect revenue, which would have a negative impact on the kids. In the end, beer sales were banned and sales continued at the level they were before.

yes, hummm, I feel a bit in the middle, on one hand the more money raised for research the better. On the other side, I strongly believe mayor fast food chain can make a better, perhaps more authentic job at educating people about their food choices. A diet too high in carbs and calories is no good for anybody (type , type 2 or people without diabetes, like myself), and many times it seems to me that this companies take on some of the “guilt” of offering high carbs, high calories foods by supporting a good cause.

Yes - no question!

When I took Marketing 101, we spent a lot of time discussing having a coordinated message. As noted by another poster imagine tying the double cheeseburger to an American Heart Assn fundraiser, or more outrageously, “buy a carton of Marlboros and Support Lung Cancer Research”. Isn’t this similar? At a minimum, someone at the JDRF should have been involved in deciding what products to promote.

Didn’t someone write, “The medium is the message?”

Fair Winds,

I guess I really dont see this as a big deal. I suppose I am the type of guy who finds that ends justify the means. Well that and I would love to snarf down one of those chocolate frosty’s. i figure if it raises money, then it can’t all be bad.

Now, I do imagine that if they had it to do again, they might do things a little differently. But then again, if they had, I would not be talking about Frosty’s. Yumm pass the spoon.

rick phillips

This gal does NOT visit Wendy’s or any other fast food outlets …really have NO opinion …however if they raise funds for the CAUSE …I may be on their side …

They’re not asking diabetics to fund our own cure research and forcing us each to buy a frosty to do it though. They’re just tacking on a charity to their products and doing community service. What’s the harm in asking people who are already purchasing their products, regardless of what their products are, in donating to our cause?

Walgreens Pharmacy asks people to round up their purchases for JDRF research too - right in front of the candy at the register. So what? I think we’re looking a gift horse in the mouth when a large corporation with a history of charitable work behind it (adoption, for instance, in the case of Wendy’s) offers to aid in cure research and we point out that their products are generally unhealthy. I’m a type 1 and I’ve had a few frosties in my day. I guess I don’t see the big deal.

It bothers me more than my local JDRF chapter’s idea of “adult type 1 outreach” is happy hour mixers with all-you-can-eat appetizer buffets. Yeah, let’s get a bunch of type 1 young adults together, feed them fried carby things, serve them liquor, and then send them home. Wendy’s isn’t suggesting we drink frosties until our disease is cured.

Well, if Wendy’s is going to raise money for diabetes research using coupons for Frostys, why not make it educational, too?

“Raise money and your blood sugar, too!”


Nice to meet you, fellow Cheesehead.

We sure do have a culture of drinking in our state. Did you see that a state representative from Green Bay is trying to block the construction of roundabouts near Lambeau Field – even though the Dept. of Transportation has determined that they would greatly improve traffic flow? His logic: after Packer games, drunk drivers would have a hard time navigating their way through and would cause accidents.

I’d laugh if it weren’t so sad.

I say well-done by Wendy’s. Eating sweets does not cause Type 1 diabetes. I think that is one of the biggest misconceptions and by criticizing them for this is only feeding to the misconception!!!

Keep selling those Frosty booklets!!!

Consider this: would it be ethical to raise funds for the lung association, by selling hard liquor coupons?

Or cigarette coupons to subsidize Alcoholics anonymous, for that matter? (knowing AA members are stereotyped as heavy smokers … ).

how about wendys coming out with a new frosty made with splenda (or whatever) that taste just as good, that way we can we eat it to

pretty ironic… the money is going to type 1 diabetes research though so i dont see a conflict here. the JDRF seems to be pretty good. but if wendys was throwing money at type 2 research, that would be a lot to swallow. gotta stop doing harm before you try to help.

Who cares people are going to eat what they want to eat and if they can get it cheaper AND raise money for us WHO CARES?

I just read this complete article. Miss Bennett talks about how studies have shown that there is a direct link between refined sugars and type 2 diabetes, however, JDRF does not raise money for type 2 diabetes. JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) raises money to help find a cure for Type 1, which is in no way caused by any type of diet, or eating too much sugar. I am the mother of a Type 1 diabetic and in the process of doing fundraisers to raise money for the JDRF Walk for a Cure, because I see the devastating effects this disease can lead to, and the hell these kids (adults also) live through at times. Does it really matter if the money is coming from selling a product high in sugar? I don’t think so, I think it is great that a big business like Wendys would donate so much money and I think that others should follow their example. Also, I come from a family that has many type 2 diabetics and a daughter that is a type 1, these really are two different diseases and should never be considered the same!