Body Shop PR Strategey Spreads...To McDonald's

by Kat Burke

16 April 1998


I've been a part of this, McLibel, list for a couple months now. I have to admit that I joined following the 60 minutes expose that I saw. A lot of the things discussed on the list interest, for lack of a better word, me, are things that are important to me, but I have never really focused on them. I am a very active member of Amnesty International though. As you may probably know, this year is the 50th Anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I was apalled when, just days after reading the posting about The Body Shop, I received my Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) packet for organizing students et al. and noticed the corporate sponsor to be The Body Shop. Additionally, encouraging emails have been sent about placing UDHR information in friendly McDonalds, who are helping to raise awareness about the UDHR worldwide. How can this be?? (The first thing that came to my mind was the plank in the UDHR that guarantees all humans the right to organize unions...among other planks McDonalds so egregiously, flagrantly violates)..

I feel limited in my scope of influence (a high school student in Houston, Texas), but I wonder why no one else has noticed this. The Body Shop and McDonalds sponsoring human rights?!

I don't know who I should talk to, but this seemed like a good starting place. (Even though every day I receive more stuff from AI with McDonalds and Body Shop ties). What needs to be done? How can I help?

Kat Burke

PS.I have attached to this some ancillary information that I received today, a letter from the AI-USA campaign director Ms. Christensen, a letter from an organizer here in Houston, and an article from the Spring AI- USA Action Newsletter, as well as the specific points of the UDHR so that others may count the contrdictions these companies have in their practices.

What is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
A UDHR synopsis (How do our companies and nations rate?)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees Everyone;

    1. The right to equality
    2. Freedom from discrimination
    3. The right to life, liberty, and personal security
    4. Freedom from slavery
    5. Freedom from torture or degrading treatment
    6. The right to recognition as a person before the law
    7. The right to equality before the law
    8. The right to remedy by a competent tribunal
    9. Freedom from arbitrary arrest or exile
    10. The right to a fair and public hearing
    11. The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty
    12. Freedom from interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence
    13. The right to free movement in and out of any country
    14. The right to asylum in other countries from persecution
    15. The right to a nationality and freedom to change it
    16. The right to marriage and family
    17. The right to own property
    18. Freedom of belief and religion
    19. Freedom of opinion and information
    20. The right of peaceful assembly and association
    21. The right to participate in Government and free elections
    22. The right to social security
    23. The right to desirable work and to join trade unions
    24. The right to rest and leisure
    25. The right to an adequate standard of living
    26. The right to education
    27. The right to participate in the cultural life of a community
    28. The right to social order assuring human rights
    29. Community duties are essential to free and full Development
    30. Freedom from state or personal interference in the above rights

From: Janice Christensen
Two and a half million pledges!!

To be fair to the incredible work members are doing in this section, it should be noted that the Dutch section is in a unique and incredibly fortunate position in their country. For the UDHR campaign, the Dutch Section had 52 hours of free television promoting the campaign --- an entire weekend dedicated to this! Also, they had every single Post Office in the country, every single McDonalds in the country and many, many other facilities putting out pledge cards. This was the entire focus for a huge team of staff in the Dutch Section. It was a tremendous campaign, they should be incredibly proud but the Netherlands is different than the USA.

Janice Christensen, Campaign Director AIUSA

Amnesty International USA, National Campaign Office
Visit the UDHR50 Website:
To contact the listowner send email to --

From a leader of the Houston local Amnesty group

The group also discussed the joint action between AI and the Body Shop, May 11 to 17. I'm waiting for the Body Shop at the Galleria to call me back so we can arrange for Ale and I to meet with them. It should be a great joint action and we are hoping for great participation from all the AI groups in Houston.

From AMNESTY ACTION / Spring 1998
"Make Your Mark" with AI and the Body Shop

This Spring, AI and the Body Shop will join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During a special "Make Your Mark" campaign beginning May 11, each Body Shop outlet will focus public attention on one of the 28 international human rights defenders highlighted in Amnesty's UDHR 50 campaign.

Stores in the United States, Mexico and Canada will feature the case of Ngawang Sangdrol, a 19-year-old Tibetan nun who was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Chinese Government for campaigning to free Tibet. In addition to information on prisoners of conscience, Body Shop customers will find in-store "Action Stations" offering them an opportunity to make their mark for human rights. That mark will take the form of a thumbprint on a petition calling for the release of the featured defender. The results of this collaboration between AI and the Body Shop will be marked with a ceremony in Paris on December 10.

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