- McDonald's -

McSpotlight responds...

Posted by: Rex ( McSpotlight, UK ) on February 10, 19100 at 12:04:05:

In Reply to: Your, and My Views on McDonalds posted by Will Wong on February 10, 19100 at 10:47:40:

: This is directed to the owners of this site

: First off, I like to say that all your views on McDonalds and how they conduct business, all their "wrong doing" is in some ways, credible but the problem with your arguement is that for the most part, its utter bullshit.

30,000+ pages of court evidence and the sworn testimony of over 80 witnesses; 'utter bullshit'?

Well, obviously, you're the expert...

: 1)Advertising
: McDonalds advertises so they can make more sales, just like other companies, Coke,Pepsi,Microsoft,Blahblahblah... list goes on. McDonalds and other companies TARGET a specific age group because THEY KNOW that if they can get that age groups attention, then they will make big sales. I do not see what is wrong with that. You say they "exploit children" ? In what ways? In the ways that the child wants McDonalds for the toys? SO WHAT? That is a great way to pull in money. I think that YOUR opinion that this is called exploiting children is UTTER BULLSHIT.

Actually, it's not just our opinion; that's one of the points the McLibel defendants won; it is the view of the UK legal system.

You can make money by using confidence tricks on the stupid - it's certainly sound business practice; but does this automatically make it ethical?

McDonald's targets advertising at those who are too young to exercise critical judgement; and uses the influence they have over their parents to increase McDonald's revenue.

Furthermore, their adverts have been misleading; misleading about the harsh realities of the slaughterhouse system (the adverts pretend that hamburgers come from a 'hamburger patch' - anyone under the age of about 8 doesn't know that this is a lie) and misleading about the nutritional benefits of McDonald's food (which is why the deputy attorney-general of Texas banned some of their advertising).

: Compare your arguement to Smoking ads. Smoking ads target TEENS because the Cigarette industry knows that targeting TEENS will pull in money. Since Cigarette companies are using this "targeting" tactic, I DONT SEE YOUR ASS MAKING A LAME WEBSITE BADGERING BENSON&HEDGES. Your arguements suck and you know it.

McSpotlight was created in response to a lawsuit from McDonald's against the McLibel Two. If you can wrap your brain around the concept, it means that McDonald's were the entity largely responsible for this site.

As for Benson and Hedges, everyone knows cigarettes are bad for you; so no tobacco company would be foolish enough to try and sue people for saying so. However, McDonald's have issued over 30 libel writs on people who dared to criticize them; knowing that the size of McDonald's spending power would tilt the balance of any court case towards McDonald's.

Basically, they could threaten anyone with court because they knew they had enough money to buy a result favourable to them; the best lawyers, the best support teams and suitable government agencies. All of the libel writs issued prior to the McLibel trial led to retractions on the part of the defendants.

: 2)Nutrition

Actually, since both the McLibel team and the McSpotlight team are either vegetarian or vegan, there's no-one here who could be described as 'fat'.

McDonald's spends over $2 billion a year on advertising. Do you think they would do this if they didn't feel that it generated revenue - would any company spend $2 billion a year trying to control the public's consumption if advertising had no effect?

No. Plainly and simply, advertising gives the company some control over the mental space of the potential customer; or it wouldn't exist.

: 3)Environment
: Everyone pollutes. That is the bottom line, no arguement needed. Everytime you shit, piss, buy condoms, you are polluting.

Meat takes 35 times as much natural resources (fuel, water, etc) to produce as an energy-equivalent amount of vegetables.

A totally carnivorous diet is therefore 35 times as polluting as a totally vegetarian diet.

: 4)Animals
: How do you expect us to live? By eating AIR? Why dont you complain when we uproot a veggie and eat it? Why dont you cry and say " NOOOO YOU KILLED MY VEGGIE " Survival of the fittest. If sheep could kill us and eat us, they would. Vice Versa

Because a) vegetables lack a central nervous system; making it unlikely that they suffer 'pain' as we know it and b) meat-eating is 35 times more polluting than plant-eating.

: 5)Employment
: McDonalds does NOT EXPLOIT WORKERS. The workers know what they are getting paid and what they have to do, BEFORE THEY WORK FOR THEM. Just cause they get paid minimum wage dont mean you can say they exploit workers.

"...it was fair comment to say that McDonald's employees worldwide 'do badly in terms of pay and conditions'" - McLibel Appeal judgement, p.247

They are exploited; they are working under constant risk in a high-stress environment and corners are frequently cut on safety; it was the case when Mark Hopkins was electrocuted and killed by faulty equipment in a Manchester McDonald's in 1992 while working there.

Furthermore, since McDonald's is the largest single fast-food company, their employment standards become the norm; to compete, any other fast food restaurant has to employ comparable practices to compete.

: Finally my opinion on WHY you guys made a website like this.

We made it because McDonald's tried to use their corporate muscle to silence criticism in the High Court; the purpose of McSpotlight was to make all the evidence that McDonald's tried to hide part of the public domain forever.

McDonald's will never again be able to pretend that their business is ethical, 'green' or caring - the court evidence is right here and in the public domain for the public to read.

: What do you expect to accomplish? Fame?

We've done what we set out to accomplish; the ugly side of McDonald's is here for the entire world to see; and will remain so.

We've also put the evidence onto CD-ROM; people can obtain all the evidence in a form they can keep on their desk.

We didn't seek fame; however, we've got a fair number of awards and a number of favourable reviews in major and minor newspapers across the world.

: I know its not fortune cause you know you wont get shit out of McDonalds except get sued.

Since the McLibel Trial, they wouldn't dare.

Marketing Week described the McLibel Trial as 'the biggest PR disaster in history'; McDonald's aren't stupid enough to try and make things worse for themselves by shutting us up; and since we exist in 6 countries, they don't have the ability to 'turn us off' in one country.

:You think you can END McDonalds? Thats hella funny. HOHO.

No. However, we think we can get some of this information out into the public; and maybe this will end the fast food culture eventually.

In the last 3 years and 11 months we've had over 90 million visitors.

The word is getting out.

Rex, McSpotlight.

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