McDonald's SOCCER MATCH - IT'S A GAME OF TWO HALVES
$ no purchase necessary $

McDonald's UK is currently running a promotional campaign in which customers who buy a 'Value meal' will be given a Game Card which gives them the chance to win various prizes - including more Mc'food', Coca-Cola bags, or as much as 20,000 MONEY, or a CAR, etc.

What McDonald's promotional adverts and posters do not stress is that since the game is run under a UK law categorising it as a "no purchase necessary" game, you DON'T have to buy anything to enter, and you can enter once per day, per household.

Obviously, McDonald's only runs this type of game to boost sales; they don't want people to realise that no purchase is necessary since it would defeat the purpose of their promotion. However, the law requires not only that it must be possible to enter without buying anything but also that this fact must be announced.

McDonald's uses very small lettering to inform the public that "no purchase [is] necessary" and seems to make it difficult to find out how to enter. We want to make the public aware of their rights regarding the game and to provide information on how to enter.

In this latest game, some prizes are "instant prizes", where you open the Game Card and see you've won something straight away. Other prizes are won by matching up items from different cards - to encourage people to go back repeatedly in the hope of getting a necessary set.

Should you enter and win an "instant prize" (and we wish you luck), you might like to consider sending the McLibel Support Campaign a donation. (McLibel Support Campaign, c/o 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London N1.) Should you not win an instant prize, you might consider sending the two halves of your Game Card to the McLibel Support Campaign so that the Campaign has the opportunity to match them up with lots of other cards sent in, so increasing the chance of a win for the Campaign! (Both the money and the publicity would be helpful... .)

Remember, you do not have to buy anything from McDonald's in order to take part in the game. If McDonald's staff tell you that you do, then they are breaking the law and should be reported to the Trading Standards department of your local council.

To enter, you should in theory simply be able to ask for a Game Card; however, McDonald's sails close to the edge of the law by requiring non-purchasers to obtain their Game Card indirectly by completing an entry form. These entry forms are then meant to be sent to the McDonald's head office, and a Game Card should then be sent to you for each correctly completed entry form.

You should be able to obtain the official entry form in any participating McDonald's. The entry forms are white with black print and measure about 10cm x 7cm (4" x 3"). A copy is provided here.

However, if they claim to have run out of forms or fail to provide you with a form for any reason, you can still enter (according to the Rules Poster) by entering for following details in clearly legible BLOCK CAPITALS on a blank piece of paper.


 NAME ..........................................................

 ADDRESS .......................................................

 ...............................................................

 .................... POST CODE ................................

 DATE OF POSTING ...............................................

 TIME OF POSTING ...............................................

The completed entry form (or home made version) must be placed in the entry box at a participating restaurant (and don't expect the box to be easy to find, you will probably have to ask where it is).

Remember, you can make one entry, per day, per household (address). The closing date for entry forms to be posted in the entry boxes in the "restaurants" is Sunday 19th May 1996.

Note: According to the Rules Poster, entry forms will only be accepted when placed in the entry boxes, ie you can't send them in the post to McDonald's head office. This means you can't send them recorded delivery, and therefore cannot prove that you ever filled in any entry forms. (But you could always "post" your entries in the presence of another witness, and you could keep a note of where and when you lodged each entry.)

During McDonald's last competition of this type (the Monopoly Game) earlier this year, a number of activists entered the competition as described by the rules for "no purchase" players. To date none of them has received their game stickers as promised (and the game finished some time ago).

So it might be reasonable to think that McDonald's would like to do the same with this game, and just ignore the "no purchase" entry forms. This time however, Trading Standards Officers have been informed about McDonald's previous treatment of "no purchase" players. Should McDonald's be shown to be again ignoring the legal requirements for games of this type, it is possible that legal action will be taken against McDonald's.

You could help to ensure that your own local Trading Standards Department monitors McDonald's treatment of "no purchase" players. Contact the Trading Standards Department of your local council and encourage them to enter the game themselves so that they can check that McDonald's complies with the legal requirements.

You can find the phone numbers for your own local Trading Standards Department in the phone book or Yellow Pages. They will usually be listed in the sections of useful numbers near the front; if not, look under the name of your local Council.

LASTLY - please spread this information to all your friends. You might even like to stand outside your local MuckDonald's with a placard and/or leaflets telling everyone that they have the right to go in and try to win a prize without buying anything! You might even like to provide them with the entry forms and lend them a pen.

Please let us or the McLibel Support Campaign know how you get on.


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