Some adverts go beyond being a bit shit or annoying, they're actually egregious. Offensive, even.
The notion that horrible burgers can mend bridges between families is not only ridiculous, it's also insulting and just wrong. Side-serving of emotional manipulation with your fries, sir?
As it goes I do have McDonalds in common with loads of people. Like millions of others - and for very good reasons indeed - I wouldn't be seen dead in one.
Sugar-flavoured empty-calorie gackburger? Nah, you're alright.
There are some new mocked-up adverts floating around the web at the moment - based on the idea of ads saying what they really mean. So MacDonalds one says 'you deserve it' or something, which isn't really far off what the real ones say. They're quite funny but a bit cutesy and hardly irreverent - and the effect on my brain was to send me off in a rather different direction.
I thought I'd have a go myself - not being averse to a bit of Photoshoppery in my day - but, having fucked around with a few layers, I decided to drop any pretence of sophistication and came up with the following rag-tag efforts.
They display the entire gamut of what amounts to any wit I may have - showcasing my phenomenal grasp of political satire and almost dadaist use of toilet humour to subvert corporate Britain.
With apologies to John Carpenter and Rowdy Roddy Piper
Needless to say, the government scheme that encourages to go and work for tax-dodging multinationals for free is an utter disgrace, but that's probably being debated all around the web at the moment, so I thought I'd come up with something more pithy and easy to digest.
Namely, I've adapted the company mottos of the outfits currently
using free labour to boost their fat profits, which are no doubt squireled away in offshore accounts helping people get back into work to reflect their forward-thinking work practices.
Asda, Primark, Argos, Boots, TK Maxx, McDonald's, Tesco and Top Shop are in the firing line (Sainsbury's has dropped out already), so I've put forward my own suggestions, which I hope the companies in questions will be adopting as a matter of course as soon as possible.
Feel free to add your own suggestions.
Tesco - Every little helps (particularly in relation to free labour)
Asda - That's Asda price (subsidised by free labour)
Primark - Look good, pay less
Argos - Find it, Get it, Argos It (Here's your £15 expenses for working a 35-hour week)
TK Maxx - Always up to 60% less (pay than minimum-wage employees)
McDonalds - I'm lovin' it (this free labour, that is)
Poundland - Yes! Everything's a pound! (including what we pay the urchins working for free in expenses")
Boots - I'm not sure if Boots has a motto, so for argument's sake we'll say it's this:
Here Come The Girls (from the job centre, working for free)
Ditto for Top Shop, so here's a suggestion:
We use free labour to boost Aracadia Group's enormous profits
Background, from The Grauniad:
Unions have called on Britain's biggest high street chains to withdraw from government programmes that make the unemployed work for up to six months unpaid or face losing their benefits.
The call comes as Sainsbury's, one of the UK's largest retailers, confirmed to the Guardian that it has stopped branch managers from taking on jobseekers under the work experience scheme.
The move follows that of Waterstones book chain, which last week announced it had pulled out of the scheme because it did not want to "encourage work for no pay".
Under the work experience scheme, hundreds of thousands of largely young jobseekers will work in charities and private businesses for 30 hours a week, for eight weeks, without pay, and can have their benefits removed if they withdraw.
The schemes are in operation at more than a dozen well-known chains, such as Boots, Tesco, Asda, Primark, Argos, TK Maxx, Poundland and the Arcadia group of stores run by billionaire Sir Philip Green, which includes Top Shop and Burton.
McDonalds refutes claims that it deliberately aims advertising and marketing at kids so they can bolster pester power and encourage parents to feed burgers to their children.
Stuff like this is gold dust on marketing, advertising and PR blogs because it's good link-bait-y copy. Top tens always go down well, but if you can match something that tugs at the nostalgia strings of readers, string it out over 20-odd pages and churn out some generic keyword-heavy intros and you're away.
It's ironic that this one is about advertising taglines, as the title 'best every ad taglines?' - or words to that effect - is almost an advertising tagline in itself.
Anyway, the slogans on this article by Forbes - coincidentally one of the least user-friendly sites in existence - are inevitably US-based, but enough of them should have leaked through to our combined UK and European consciousnesses for them to make sense.
Some are universal. BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine is timeless. Or so you would have thought, as BMW recently ditched it for the appalling Joy.
Just Do It - also a good one, and a slogan coincidentally used by my Dad, in his general attitude to life. Not because of a freaky baseball-cap-wearing US geriatric, but because it worked for him.
Got milk? has alway baffled me. Surely the answer is either 'yes I have go milk' or 'no I haven't got milk'?
Mastercard's There Are Some Things Money Can't Buy tagline is supposedly well-loved. And while it's spawned a thousand spoofs, it doesn't exactly stand out. Does it do anything that other cards don't do? No, it doesn't. So who exactly 'loves' it?
Verizon's Can You Hear Me Now? suggests to me that the line is bad, forcing a redial. It also sounds like something a Tarantino protagonist would shout while pumping someone's head full of bullets.
McDonalds' You Deserve a Break Today has an old-world charm, certainly more than I'm Lovin' It. And We Bring Good Things to Life for GE is quaintly pleasing, far more so than the meaningless, aspirational Imagaination At Work. Then again, these were the days before carbon emissions.
Forbes tells us that the simplicity of The Milk Chocolate Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hand is what makes it so good. But if describing what a product does makes a tagline clever, why isn't the Pampers slogan Keeps Baby Shit From Falling Out All Over The Place?
And Time to Make the Donuts? Surely the donuts have been made already? What?
You've Come a Long Way, Baby - Virginia Slims' tagline for marketing fags at women - is well-loved, Forbes tells us. Is it? Is it really? Who loves it exactly? The best I can say about something that plays on womens' fears of their own body image is that it smacks of a low animal cunning.
Reach Out and Touch Someone from AT&T is obviously problematic, while Be All You Can Be - for the US army - has a lot of obvious unfortunate rejoinders: 'working-class cannon fodder', perhaps?
Anyway, what I think stuff like this says about advertising is that it's indelibly linked with a hazy nostalgia for time's gone by. No-one's immune to it. It's the reason why old ads get a run out from time-to-time; the reason we form affinities with brands; the reason why articles like this exist.
Because we don't love the taglines. We love the bittwerweet melancholy of remembering.
• What are the 'best-loved' UK advertising slogans? Some that seem typically British include Ah, Bisto!; Go To Work On An Egg; Beanz Meanz Heinz; Have A Break. Have A Kit-Kat; For Mash Get Smash; Hello Tosh, Gotta Toshiba...