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Food Brands Celebrate International Women’s Day in All the Wrong Ways

This year’s cynical attempts from McDonald’s, KFC, and more to cash in

Animated image of KFC Malaysia’s Claudia Sanders KFC Malaysia

Today is International Women’s Day, a century-old designation that predates women’s suffrage in the United States and commemorates the struggle for women’s rights worldwide. It’s also — just like Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and National Margarita or Whatever Day before it — an awesome day for #brands. Here’s how some are “celebrating”:

• McDonald’s has upended its iconic “Golden Arches” logo, turning it from the familiar “M” to a “W,” which ostensibly stands for “women.” Never mind that the mega-chain has been actively fighting against paying its employees — the majority of whom are likely women — a living wage.

• KFC Malaysia gender-swapped its logo for one day only, replacing Colonel Sanders with Claudia Sanders, who was the Colonel’s second wife. In her book The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, Sanders’ daughter Margaret described Claudia thusly: “Neither promiscuous nor a whoremonger, Father nevertheless had a libido which required a healthy, willing partner. He found one in young Claudia.”

• UK-based craft beer giant BrewDog renamed a popular beer from “Punk IPA” to “Pink IPA,” slapping on the label that it’s a “Beer for Girls.” The company claimed the temporary rebranding was a tongue-in-cheek effort to make fun of bad beer marketing, but the internet did not react kindly. As Eater London’s Adam Coghlan wrote: “The fact the brand had to issue its own accompanying clarification — hashtag sarcasm— is the clearest proof that the ‘joke’ doesn’t stand up unaided.“

• It’s not officially pegged to IWD, but in an auspiciously timed roll-out, Johnnie Walker unleashed a special bottle renamed “Jane Walker” to help “invite women into the brand.” Ladies who drink Scotch were not impressed.