- McLibel -

Everyone knows that 99.9% of TV is fake

Posted by: Ludwig von Mises ( USA ) on May 22, 1999 at 15:45:58:

In Reply to: Call it a free debate; unlike McDonald's, we encourage them. posted by Rex on May 16, 1999 at 13:42:03:

Hey, Rex, this italics stuff is hurting my eyes. Could you put yours in bold or something instead of italisc? Thanks.

: : --
: : McSpotlight: In actual fact; if you examine the evidence; you will see that McDonald's is all for free speech for themselves; but have tried to gag more than 30 groups and companies in the UK alone; by issuing libel writs and threatening huge legal fees; for nothing more than the exercising of free speech.

: : Does free speech cut both ways, or do you believe it should only be available to those with the money to hire good lawyers?

: : As to exploiting, well, let's quote the UK's official legal representatives on the subject;

: : "... the sting of the leaflet to the effect that the Plaintiffs exploit children by using them, as more susceptible subjects of advertising, to pressurise their parents into going to McDonald's is justified. It is true."

: They do not exploit children. They freakin' advertise!!! If the leaflett had said something like: Their ads can strongly influence some children, it wouldn't have been slander. However, they said exploit, and no matter what that crazy guy says, they aren't expoiling anyone.

: --
: Advertising at anyone without the critical faculties to evaluate the advertising is exploitation. No ifs, no buts; the age group the adverts are targeted at are not of an age where they can discern and analyze.

Ahh, but the parents have that ability, and it's not McDs fault if they don't. It is also not McDs fault if the parents can't resist pestering from their kids. Half the time the adults like it as much as the kids, which is also not the fault of McDs.

: : ... the First and Second Plaintiffs are culpably responsible for cruel practices in the rearing and slaughter of some of the animals which are used to produce their food...

: Does McDs raise it's own animals? Maybe you should be after the suppliers, not the company...

: Who provides the market?

The entire food industry.

:Who markets the overconsumption of meat that results in the large-scale consumption of said meat? - requiring the mass-production of livestock...

They don't advertise the overconsumtion of meat. If advertising or even producing a burger is a crime against animals, we can kiss the food industry good-bye. I hope that you like to cook...

: Who spends over $2 billion per year telling people that they want to eat meat at McDonald's?

No one. They tell people, or rather imply to people, that it would be good to eat at McDs. They don't tell people that they want to eat at McDonalds, that would piss people off. Also, people should think about what they're eating, and any animal suffering that might have gone into it.

: : The Second Plaintiff does pay its workers low wages, thereby helping to depress wages for workers in the catering trade in Britain. To this extent the defamatory charge in the leaflet is partly justified.

: Low wages???!!! If you can get in trouble for that, companies would completely run out of capital paying everyone. Seriously, there is really no standard for low wages, I don't know what you have over there(under the LABOUR PARTY), but over here we have minimum wage(ridiculous though it is), and anything above that is fair game. As long as McDs pays it's employees the legal minimum, there is no evidence supporting the fact that they pay them "low wages".

: So if you set the minimum wage to 2 cents an hour, and McD's paid 3 cents, it wouldn't be a low wage?

If you payed people 3 per hour, they wouldn't work for you. McDs MUST pay people enough to keep them working there.

: You're defining low wages as compared to the minimum wage; not as compared to the average working wage or the wage required to maintain a humane standard of living; both of which are more meaningful indicators of utility.

OK, the average wage for people in the especially low paid countries is proabably around $2 per hour. The average person in those countriees probably takes in $0 per hour, as there aren't any jobs. What a 'humane standard of living' is varies incredibly from country to country and region to region. Remember, the problems in these countries are caused by forced industrialization by imperialist nations(this has passed) ,not the fault of companies. If people are used to living the way that they're now before forced industrialization, they are used to it.

: : ... I do find that various of the First and Second Plaintiffs' advertisements, promotions and booklets have pretended to a positive nutritional benefit which McDonald's food, high in fat and saturated fat and animal products and sodium, and at one time low in fibre, did not match.

: Uhhh...not quite sure what you're saying. Please explain.
: :

: Well, let's take your comments;

: "Advertising is not a bad thing."

: - does this remain the case when it is being used to market unhealthy food; when a half-truth is presented as the whole truth?

It's not presented as a whole truth. Everyone knows that 99.9% of TV is fake, including ads. Hell, I've known that since I was about 6. Plus, what is and what is not healthy food is subjective, and the public has to know that and/or decide that.

: - Remember Nuremburg; the mass-marketing of an earlier and less subtle era...was that "bad". On the face of it, no; yet look at the results it had. You cannot merely say something is good or bad without looking at the possible consequences of it.

The posible consequences of McDonalds ads: people eat there food too jmuch and get fat, as they begin to recognize McDs as a good place to eat.

: "They are actually quite ethical"

: - how do you define "quite ethical"? - they are responsible for the mass-marketing of an unhealthy diet at a market segment too young to
: disseminate the adverts. That's unethical, in my book.

The fact that this group can't make it's own decisions is the reason that this group is taken care of by parents. It is the parents responsibility to help the children make decisions, and guiding the children when they want to make poor decisions. It is not the foult of an advertiser if a parent falls asleep at the switch and ignores their duties.

: - furthermore, they threaten anyone they don't agree with with libel writs, on the basis that they can use their vast capital to hire really good lawyers...or they used to... *g*

So if I disagreed with them 5 years ago, they would've sent me to court? They would've lost a lot of capital on losing their cases...

: : and, from the Appeal judgement;

: :

: : it was fair comment to say that McDonald's employees worldwide 'do badly in terms of pay and conditions' [Appeal Judgment p247], and true that 'if one eats enough McDonald's food, one's diet may well become high in fat etc., with the very real risk of heart disease.' The Lord Justices went on to state that this last finding 'must have a serious effect on their trading reputation since it goes to the very business in which they are engaged. In our judgment, it must have a greater impact on the respondents' [McDonald's] reputation than any other of the charges that the trial judge had found to be true'. [Judgment p264]
: :

: So it's not health food. Big deal. Most Americans/Brits/any other industrialized or colonized people eat junk. They don't have to, and no one forces them to. They just do.

: However, McDonald's has pretended to a nutritional value they actually don't have; that's not them saying "well, it's McD's food, do you expect it to be healthy, like it or don't eat it"; McDonald's have said on a repeated basis that their food is good for you and nutritious; a direct lie.

Do you expect them to say that their food is crap? Then someone else would take over the fast food market, and the cycle would repeat...

: They even testified in court that Coca-Cola was nutritious because it contained water; if you advertise your food as nutritious on that basis without making your definition of "nutritious" clear, you are actively misleading the public.

No, the public needs to get the facts on their own.

: : Is a totalitarian corporate state any less repressive than a totalitarian communist one?

: A totalitarian state controlled by companies? Oxymoron? Privatization is a means to LIMIT government, and a state without government cannot be totalitarian.

: --
: McSpotlight: Not at all; it merely limits elected government.

: If, say, Bill Gates and Microsoft decide to, e.g. build features into software that renders its competitors' software inoperative, use its marketing muscle to push this to the people who by the software and use the accrued capital to acquire new competitors before they become a threat, how is competition there? The fact remains that over 95% of computer users use M$; and every computer user who buys software preloaded has paid for that software in full regardless of whether they wanted it or will ever use it; Microsoft is able to bully manufacturers into pre-loading their code onto computers and this effectively functions as an involuntary tax on anyone buying a ready-made computer.

I could spend hours defending MS, and I already have. if you want me to get started again, just tell me to...

: Let us now say that a large chemical company decides to start breaking the law by emitting heavy metals or organophosphates or dioxins into the local water; in an effort to reduce their operating overheads; what power does any one person have against that corporate; especially in the absence of a more powerful force to stop them?

Boycotting power. If a large enough group doesn't like the existance of a company, they can drive that company out of business. Corrupt politicians, however, are not so easily disposed of.

: If you look at the MAI negotiations, you can see that the corporate world is negotiating a treaty that will effectively remove elected governments from decision-making over issues like health and safety, working conditions and environmental safety in the workplace; the trend is towards larger transnational conglomerates with total control over their workplace and the environment around it.

Good. That way they can come up with a single standard, rather than have to push paper to keep within various countries regulations.

: Check Monsanto's recent declaration that the UK public was powerless to stop Monsanto planting transgenic crops in the UK; this is not the action of a company which has things like elections to fear; it is totalitarian - and it represents a possible future world government; that of the corporates; a government that the general public have no say in electing.

Again, the public has buying power, and the companies are worked for by the public.

: Personally, I find the idea of a world ruled by a few large Western corporations dystopian to say the least. Mind you, saying that in Colombia would earn you a visit from death squads funded by Chevron and BP...

I don't propose anarcho-capitalism, I do think that some government is necissary for many reasons, that being one of them.

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