The Rumour Mill and McDonald's

Rumours. We're all drawn to them. We're social creatures and they are a source of social capital. They make us look and feel in the know and connected.

For rumours to work, they need to be based on a shared reference point. Public figures fit the bill nicely. As do big brands. And brands don't come much bigger than McDonald's.

The most powerful rumours are also a reflection of broader concerns. We care about what we eat. And McDonald's of course is a food business.

So, it's no surprise that McDonald's has long been the subject of rumours about the quality of its food.

But the brand had never felt the need to respond until the mid-noughties when it found itself cast as the villain of the food industry.