- McDonald's -


Posted by: R. Jenkins ( USA ) on March 23, 1999 at 10:45:24:

In Reply to: they have the option of quitting. posted by R. Jenkins on March 22, 1999 at 11:59:08:

: If their workforce is exploited, they have the option of quitting. How in the hell do they exploit children? I agree that their suppliers may treat animals poorly, but that's how any supplier treats animals nowadays.(sigh) As for freedom of expresion, you seem to be in total agreement with the activists and say that McDs is trying to prevent them from their rights etc. etc., but then a few paragraphs later your saying how all adverstising should be banned.

: --
: McSpotlight: McDonald's were judged to be guilty of exploiting children by targeting adverts at them; taking advantage of their lack of critical faculties to market McD's food at them; and thus exploiting their parents by getting the children to pester them to go to McDonald's.

McDonalds doesn't have advertising that is any worse than another comapy's. If someone markets a toy that you might consider harmful, and they make the kids want to buy the toy, they haven't exploited anyone, they merely had a good ad. If parents don't want their kids to have McD's food, they don't have to take them there. All they have to do is tell the kid no, and if he/she persits tell him/her why. Aside from that, if you consider making a point to an uneducated croud, any ad on the planet is guilty.

: We're not saying that McDonald's advertising should be banned; that would be censorship, which we are against. What we stand for is stopping McDonald's silencing critical opinion; giving both sides of the argument a fair say.

You say that you don't want their advertising banned, but you're saying it should be illegal or that McDs should be sued for advertising. As for silencing opinions, with all of the protests described on your page, and even your page itself is proof that the other opinions are out there.

McSpotlight: Firstly, McDonald's target their advertising especially at children; to quote their Operations Manual;

"Ronald loves McDonald's and McDonald's food. And so do children, because they love Ronald. Remember, children exert a phenomenal influence when it comes to restaurant selection. This means you should do everything you can to appeal to children's love for Ronald and McDonald's."

You seem to be unaware of exactly how much power children have over their parents; it might not be a good thing, but it's the way things are at the moment.

Check the evidence that was presented in court.

Secondly, we are not, and have never suggested, that McD's be stopped from advertising; it would be censorship. We do feel that McDonald's advertising should be subjected to the scrutiny of people who are informed about the reality of McFood.

Thirdly, are you aware of the reason for McSpotlight's existence? McSpotlight exists because McDonald's US and UK tried to sue two environmental activists for libel; because they handed out a leaflet criticizing McDonald's (The famed "What's Wrong With McDonald's" leaflet (the hyperlink takes you to the referenced version, where the sources for all the claims in the leaflet are given).

This was the latest in a long (30+) line of libel writs issued by McDonald's to try and silence critics; in this case, they miscalculated badly, since the two activists, Helen Steel and Dave Morris, refused to apologise for what they felt to be the truth. What followed was the longest civil trial in English history; 313 days in court, during which the defendants had to represent themselves against the slickest libel lawyer in the country.

Yet at the end, the judge ruled that McDonald's were guilty - of culpable cruelty to animals, exploiting children, promoting unhealthy food under false pretences and paying their staff low wages..

This would not have come out had not two people been prepared to give up five years of their life to challenging McDonald's. And McSpotlight exists because of the McLibel case; we started this site to make the trial evidence and the alternative views on McDonald's public; we would not have existed had not McDonald's been in the habit of trying to silence people they didn't like; in this case, they bit off more than they could chew.

In the three years of McSpotlight's existence it has been visited over 65 million times - due to McDonald's inability to permit a free debate on their practices.

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup