Scots Chief To Defend His Clan

Lord McDonald set to challenge MCDonald's burger chain
over use of the ancient name

The Herald - 7th October, 1996

Burger giants McDonald's have bitten off more than they can chew, according to the chief of one of Scotland's biggest clans.

Lord Godfery MacDonald, chief of the clan McDonald, looks set to challenge McDonald's company bosses over their exclusive right to use the ancient name.

Lord MacDonald has said every McDonald owning a business should be allowed to display the historic surname without dispute from bosses of the world-wide burger chain.

He has vowed to fight the company on behalf of the millions of McDonald clan members.

The challenge comes after controversy surrounding an Aberdeen-based man who has threatened to take McDonald's to court.

Mr Ronald McDonald, retired teacher, said the use of the name Ronald McDonald for the clown used by the company to entertain children was an insult to the Scottish clan system.

"Our name goes back hundreds of years and why should we stand aside and let an American-based burger chain, set up around 50 years ago, rule that we can't use our name.

"McDonald's didn't come to me when they set up their first restaurant and ask if they could use our name. Perhaps I should be getting touch with them and extracting royalties."

McDonald's bosses have been heavily criticised for attempting to prevent a sandwich shop in Buckinghamshire using the name McMunchies because they said customers would be confused into thinking there was an association with the burger giants.

Yesterday, McDonald's were again being criticised as top Tory Arthur Bell launched an attack on the company's "power tactics". Mr Bell, chairman of the Scottish Tory Reform Group, said; "People all over the place are being taken to court even for using the initials Mc.

"People are fed up with the power tactics of McDonald's. Capitalism is not about one company becoming all-powerful and stopping all other companies trading."

Mr Bell is familiar with the right to use a name after winning a court battle to use his name on a brand of whiskey.

He said: "McDonald is one the most famous names in the world. McDonald's everywhere must be furious at the way their name is being used.

"It is an obscenity and it's about time something was done and there's no better person to challenge McDonald's than the clan chief himself."

No-one from McDonald's was available for comment yesterday.

See also :
  • Mr McDonald bites back - Independent, 30th Sept '96; UK
  • Corner shop faces McDonald's writ - The Times, 24th Sept 1996; UK
  • Big Mac puts bite on McMunchie - Daily Telegraph, 24th Sept '96; UK
  • Big Mac Chews Out Little Mrs McMunchie - Independent, 24th Sept '96; UK
  • Fed up to McTeeth with the son of a gun - Mirror, 28th Sept '96; UK

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