Charles Ramsey gets burgers for life, but no Big Macs
Local eateries pledge to feed the Cleveland man who helped rescue 3 kidnap victims. McDonald's, however, has remained mum.
The Cleveland man who became a media sensation after rescuing three women from a decade in captivity will receive free burgers for life, courtesy of more than a dozen Ohio restaurants that have pledged to feed him whenever he wishes, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.
But missing from the gesture is the ultimate burger purveyor, McDonald's (MCD), which became part of the story when the women's rescuer, Charles Ramsey, mentioned the fast-food giant in his 911 call to police. As he told it, he had been enjoying a Big Mac when he heard calls for help.
In the initial frenzy surrounding the rescue, Ramsey was hailed as a savior and McDonald's reached out to him via Twitter. "Way to go Charles Ramsey -- we'll be in touch," the company wrote. Since then, the message has been retweeted more than 12,000 times.
But in recent weeks, McDonald's has been quiet about the issue. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from MSN Money.
The truth is, McDonald's may want the whole issue to disappear. The company came under fire for its tweet, with some people criticizing the message as crossing the line. To some observers, McDonald's was praising Ramsey for mentioning the brand rather than for his humanitarian instinct to rescue the captives.
And then there's the backlash against Ramsey, with the Smoking Gun uncovering repeated arrests for domestic violence.
Given that revelation, McDonald's may not want to risk tying its brand to a flawed hero. After all, the burger chain's brand is valued at $90.2 billion, ranking it No. 4 among the world's 100 most valuable brands.
In the meantime, Ramsey will no doubt enjoy his burgers at local restaurants such as Hodge's, which joined in the pledge to provide free food and employs Ramsey as a dishwasher.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
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