This thesis addresses a new style of green promotion in the fast food industry by critically analysing one advertisement from each of A&W’s “Better Beef”, McDonald’s’ “Your Questions”, and Chipotle’s “Back to the Start” campaigns. Three main questions are explored: whether these campaigns help incite high quality environmental change or merely perpetuate the unsustainable status quo; whether each company is taking real responsibility for change or continuing to push responsibility onto consumers; and whether these advertisements are providing opportunities for consumers to feel fulfilled or only providing short term gratification. Using greenwashing, public relations, and advertising theories to aid analysis, this thesis argues that green themes in fast food advertising should not be taken at face value as they hinder environmental change in the fast food industry. This thesis concludes that green fast food ads continue cycles of consumption, harming possibilities for future change in production and consumption practices.
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