McDONALD'S is a bullying, hypocritical and unethical company that exploits the environment and uses dirty tricks against its critics, the High Court was told yesterday.
David Morris, 40, and Helen Steel, 28, environmental campaigners who are being sued for libel by the fast-food chain, accused it of "seven corporate deadly sins". Mr Morris said: "We will demonstrate that McDonald's is a bullying organisation, that they are hypocritical, exploitative, unethical, destructive, obsessive and greedy."
McDonald's claims its reputation was damaged by a leaflet that Mr Morris and Ms Steel are accused of distributing as members of London Greenpeace, which has no connection with the international group. They deny libel and say the accusations were true or fair comment.
The two campaigners, from Tottenham, north London, who are unemployed, are representing themselves because legal aid is not available in libel actions. Mr Morris said: "There is enormous imbalance. On the one hand is a company with an annual turnover of $24 billion (Pounds 16 billion) and on the other we have two unwaged individuals members of the public."
Ms Steel denied that the pair were responsible for publishing the leaflet. "Athough we were not responsible, we do feel that the leaflet was true and we don't have anything to apologise for," she said.
The hearing continues.