Word of Mouth

McDonald's pulls smoothie offer, maintains free frappé promise

Before it even officially unveiled them, McDonald's has already withdrawn this week's planned giveaway of free smoothie samples.

Perhaps you'll consider a frappé instead?

The Golden Arches had intended to hand out freebies of its new strawberry banana and wild berry smoothies nationwide this week, from July 22 through July 24, but withdrew the offer, says a customer service rep, as a result of "unprecedented demand."

The fruity concoctions were already being sold in certain areas as of last week. Meanwhile, the fast food chain's ongoing, separate offer of a free frappé in certain markets -- including Colorado -- still stands. Could that be because, dare we say, the average McDonald's customer -- nay, human? -- can barely pronounce the word frappé, let alone know what one is?

The eating public has a history of resistance to things outside its narrow realm of familiarity. Kinda makes us think of that anti-intellectual Dunkin' Donuts commercial from a few years ago -- remember?

To score your free frappé, available now through Sunday, August 15, you're going to need a coupon, which can be found in Westword and yesterday's Parade or USA Weekend newspaper insert. You can also get a buck off a frappé or smoothie via the McDonald's website.

"All traditional restaurants should be accepting the coupons," says a McDonald's marketing supervisor, who stresses that not all of the chain's outlets are participating. "This is a majority of the market, but ... not all restaurants have the ability to sell these products." Traditional restaurants exclude those, for example, in Wal-Marts or attached to gas stations.

Stated simply: Call first.

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Jessica Chapman
Contact: Jessica Chapman