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This Week at McDonald's
December 5 - 18 December

(For details of the latest protests and opposition to McDonald's,
please see This Week's Campaigning)

Evening Standard London, UK
10th December 1996


Belarus police beat students with truncheons as they descended on the former Soviet Republic's first McDonald's restaurant today, believing free food was on offer.

About 4,000 people, many of them students keen to try their first Big Mac, filled the central avenue of the capital as the fast-food giant celebrated opening its doors in its 100th country. But officials from the fast-food giant threatened to close the restaurant because of the crush.

Gary Samuels
Forbes Magazine; US
4th November 1996

[It's been a lousy year for McDonald's Corp. U.S. comparable sales have been sagging, Mad Cow disease in Britain was a distraction overseas and, on top of everything else, the company's heavily promoted Arch Deluxe drew disappointing reviews from critics.]

*Compare this to an article in the same publication from January of this year. (see below)*

Kerry A. Dolan
Forbes Magazine (USA)
1st January 1996

[On the opening day of McDonald's first restaurant in Kuwait in June, 1994, the drive-through line was 7 miles long.]

Johnson Publishing Company
Jet; S.A.
Sep 23, 1996

[The fast-food restaurant chain McDonald's won't have to worry about copycat competitors in South Africa anymore.]

Nov 11, 1996

[Kiddies And Teens May Still Love The Golden Arches. But Adults Are Proving To Be Much Tougher Customers.For reasons unclear, McDonald's chose to announce its new line of "adult" sandwiches a few weeks ago with one of the more bizarre corporate ceremonies in recent memory.]

Orlando Business Journal
Apr 12, 1996

[The Olympic rings are more widely recognized around the world than the famous golden arches of McDonald's, according to a recent study by the International Olympic Committee. The IOC surveyed 10,357 adults in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Jamaica, Brazil, Nigeria and India.]

Sunday Business; UK
8th December 1996


McDonald's showcase fast-food restaurant in Beijing is being demolished, ending a two-year wrangle over control of the site. The restaurant, near the city's Tienanmen Square, will be relocated 150m to the north. The old site will become part of Oriental Plaza, a much-delayed shopping development being built by Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Holdings. "In a spirit of teamwork and partnership, we've developed a plan [with the Beijing government] that will allow our strong expansion in the city to continue," said Marvin Whaley, president of McDonald's China Development in a press release. In 1994, McDonald's was told by the Beijing government to vacate the site to make way for the Oriental Plaza. McDonald's resisted, demanding compensation for ending a long-term lease on the outlet it had opened only two years before. The dispute raised concern among foreign investors about the value of contracts in China.

Evening Standard; London, UK
6Th December 1996


Comic actor Robin Williams has turned down a million-pound offer to advertise McDonald's because he thinks it is in bad taste.

McDonald's had offered to pay Walt Disney 5 million pounds to do a joint promotion of the new film "The Absent-Minded Professor".

However, Williams vetoed using his face on any McDonald's wrappers and refused to allow clips from the film to be used in television adverts. When McDonald's offered to pay him a million pounds personally, he still refused.

"He won't budge," said an insider quoted in the Daily Variety show business newspaper.

The Express; UK
8th December 1996


"I'll have a Big Mac, strawberry shake, and a mini-statement, please."

No, it's not a joke - this scenario will be coming soon to a McDonald's restaurant near you.

The world-famous hamburger chain has signed a deal with Halifax Building Society to put cash machines into its restaurants.

By next summer you'll be able to order up fries and check out your finances - as well as withdraw cash to pay for your Big Value Meal.

Halifax is installing machines in 50 of the chain's burger joints. The first should be operating by March.

The machines will be free-standing and are likely to be sited outside the restaurants, rather than inside.

Most will be built in out-of-town "drive-thrus", many of which are on retail parks where supermarkets and DIY stores thrive.

Halifax spokesman Mark Hemingway said: "We're delighted with our tie-up with McDonald's. We want to be where our customers are. We have ATMs in town centres, now we want to put them near other shopping areas."

The Guardian; UK
9th December 1996


Streets and squares could soon bear the name of sponsors, if a pilot scheme proposed for the Somerset town of Yeovil proves a success.

The idea is the brainchild of a sign manufacturer from Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol. The firm is already talking to local authorities in Plymouth, Cumbria and Durham.

Replacing damaged street signs can cost financially-stretched councils around 100 pounds a time so the prospect of recouping perhaps 25 percent is attractive.

The company, Bribex, said the idea arose because local authorities seldom seem to have enough in their budgets to cover the replacement of road names.

John Fry, the company's sales executive, said local authorities would have the right to veto sponsors.

Mr Fry said Bribex was being sensitive about the type of comany it was approaching. "There are some newspapers that people would object to in residential areas. We are not going for brewers or tobacco companies, we are going for companies that will not cause offence."

Cadbury, McDonald's, Walls, Heinz, Lego and British Airways are among a host of firms said to have expressed an interest.

Britain's fist sponsored street names are expected to appear in Yeovil where South Somerset district council has agreed to investigate a pilot scheme.

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