About 50 people went to a seminar on 16th May in London organised by Parliamentary Communications (publishers of the 'House Magazine').
Most of those attending were parliamentary researchers from major organisations. The speakers included Geoff Hoon MP (Labour Party spokesperson on the Information Superhighway), representatives of the UK Treasury and of the Central Office for Information, plus the editor of the new Parliamentary Monitor on-line service and Poptel, the Internet solution provider for the British Labour Party.
One of the other speakers used the McSpotlight site as an example of how the Web can be used successfully for campaigning purposes when backed up by more traditional organisation and a certain amount of media interest. The audience were impressed with the statistics of use of the site particularly considering the minimal financial (though considerable human) resources that went in. Copies of the "What's Wrong With McDonald's?" leaflet (downloaded from the site) were taken by many people attending the seminar.
A lecturer at Bradford University (UK), teaching a course on Business and the Environment, has recently used McLibel and McSpotlight as the basis of an interactive exercise for his 80 students. The question he set was:
"You are the advisor to the Chief Executive of McDonald's. For the last 24 months, two 'unknowns', Morris and Steel, have been fighting a libel action brought against them by McDonald's. Up to now the law suit has cost McDonald's in excess of 10 million pounds but the damage to McDonald's reputation could well extend well beyond this.
The Board's attention has been drawn to a growing number of Internet Web pages - 1,300 files in March 1996 - giving views and news of the company. These web pages are readily available to anyone with a suitable computer on http://mcspotlight.org/. Using this and the assessment of the case prepare a report on a damage limitation exercise. Morris and Steel claim that McDonald's are to the environment what Dracula is to the Blood Transfusion Service."