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02/12/03 . by Dave Moriss and Helen Steel . The Guardian . UK
McLibel 2 Letter to the Editor
To the Guardian Letters Page
Letter printed (slightly amended) in the UK Guardian, 2nd December 2003
Who's still 'passing the McBuck' with our children's health? [Blame obesity on bad diets, say food chiefs - 28.11.03] In the mid-1990s during the McLibel trial, the McDonald's Corporation's Head of Marketing, David Green, agreed that children are “virgin ground as far as marketing is concerned.” The High Court ruled that McDonald's 'exploit children by using them, as more susceptible subjects of advertising, to pressurise their parents into going to McDonalds', and that people 'who eat McDonald's food several times a week will take the very real risk of heart disease if they continue to do so throughout their lives, encouraged by [McDonald's] advertising'.
The junk food chain later formally accepted that the judge was 'correct in his conclusions' in the case. But sadly McDonald's Vice President Mike Love's response was 'we regard this as an industry issue, not a McDonald's issue. Therefore no action was taken by us'. Junior Minister Mark Fischer's view was that “The Government recognise their special responsibility to protect children from exploitation, but the existing Code allows the Independent Television Commission scope to act in their defence.”
In Feb 2000 following hundreds of complaints calling for a ban on McDonald's ads, the ITC's Deputy Director replied that 'McDonalds advertisements are no better or worse than the several thousand toy, game, snack or cereal advertisements... which appear on TV every year.' He added that ' we ...would... have to consider banning all advertising to children', which would be 'an issue of government policy'.
So, its over to the Health Select Committee. Will the McBuck stop here? All advertising is visual spam - an unsolicited stream of in-yer-face capitalist propaganda. It is particularly nauseating and immoral when targetted at children. Stop the lot now.
Dave Morris and Helen Steel