McDonald\u2019s is floundering. There\u2019s no other way to say it. The global fast food chain has experienced declining U.S. sales for well over a year now. But why? I\u2019d love to gloat that Americans have finally caught on that the Golden Arches peddles terrible food, but that might not be the case. Theories for the slump abound. Some believe the menu is too confusing, slowing down service. Others say that consumers are drifting toward fast-casual chains like Chipotle and Panera, even if their food costs more. And Consumer Reports notes that McDonald\u2019s has the worst-tasting burger compared to 20 competitors. Even McDonald\u2019s itself doesn\u2019t seem to be sure. The company has introduced a Create Your Taste option, allowing consumers to customize their burgers. It promised to stop serving chicken raised with some antibiotics. In Southern California, the chain even tried serving kale. McKale? No, just no. Fortune magazine concluded that \u201cA growing segment of restaurant goers are choosing \u2018fresh and healthy\u2019 over \u2018fast and convenient,\u2019 and McDonald\u2019s is having trouble convincing consumers that it\u2019s both. Or even can be both.\u201d Which brings me to the chain\u2019s latest move: hiring former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as its head of communications. The talking point du jour is that McDonald\u2019s wants to build a \u201cmodern, progressive burger company.\u201d What does that even mean? You\u2019ve got to give it to them, though \u2014 it at least sounds better than \u201cPlease forget about that Supersize Me movie.\u201d McDonald\u2019s didn\u2019t stop with hiring Gibbs, however. The Golden Arches brought on board another corporate superstar, Silvia Lagnado, as its head of marketing. Lagnado has previously worked for Dove, Unilever, and Bacardi. Clearly, McDonald\u2019s thinks it\u2019s grappling with a marketing problem. This points to a tactic I learned back in business school: When consumers don\u2019t like your products, you can either make your products better\u2026or simply make your customers think they\u2019re better. With this move, McDonald\u2019s seems to be taking the latter route. Articles analyzing the company\u2019s poor sales underscore some reasons why consumers have turned their back on the chain. Instead of adding a few leaves of kale here and there, why not remove the anti-foaming agent in the French fries? In other words, instead of putting lipstick on a factory-farmed pig, why not switch to serving more ethical foods? I have no love for the chain, but I hope McDonald\u2019s new marketing gurus guide them toward real change, and not just a new advertising campaign. Just because billboards and jingles repeatedly tell us we\u2019re \u201clovin\u2019 it,\u201d that doesn\u2019t make it true. If McDonald\u2019s opts for new slogans instead of making substantial changes, send them a message by buying better food somewhere else. OtherWords columnist Jill Richardson is the author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System Is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.