McSpotlight Home Page
1st May, 1996

McSpotlight Update

  • McLibel Press Release
  • Burger giant outmanoeuvered and exposed by online critics - again

    "It is claimed to be 'the most comprehensive source of information on a multinational corporation ever assembled' - and that doesn't sound like an exaggeration." - The Guardian, 22nd Feb 96

    Using the latest Internet browsing system (Frames for Netscape 2.0), visitors to McSpotlight can now read both sides of the story at the same time - McDonald's lies and propaganda live from their site on one side of the screen, and McSpotlight's commentary and criticism on the other.

    McSpotlight's commentary consists of quotes from top McDonald's executives directly contradicting the corporate line, links to evidence on the McSpotlight site (scientific reports, McLibel witness statements, press articles etc), and a common sense deconstruction of their cleverly worded PR spiel.

    McDonald's hoped that their new website would be a further way to promote the sale of their products and present the McTruth in an uncritical arena. McSpotlight has outmanoeuvered and exposed them again.

    • 'Debating Room' provides global forum for discussion about McDonald's

    Responding to hundreds of email requests from all over the world, McSpotlight this week launches 'The Debating Room', a moderated discussion group within the website. This new, state-of-the-art service allows visitors to swap stories, experiences & opinions and to put out requests for specific information or help in campaigning. There are separate sections for McDonald's workers, McDonald's customers, Campaigners and Kids.

    McDonald's is now alleging that because Steel & Morris (the McLibel 2) launched McSpotlight outside a McDonald's store and have given "their support to the enterprise", and because the site contains the London Greenpeace Factsheet (the subject of the libel action), this is further evidence that Steel & Morris were involved in the publication and/or distribution of the Factsheet.

    McDonald's acknowledge that McSpotlight "has been accessed by many thousands of people...and that many more people will in future read the [Factsheet] by accessing the Web Site."

    • McDonald's worst fears confirmed as McSpotlight is accessed over a million times in its first month

    • Launched on 16th February 1996 in London, Chicago, Helsinki, Auckland.

    • One million hits in the first month (1,800 hits by McDonald's in the first week).

    • Main server based in the Netherlands (less restrictive libel laws than the UK).

    • Mirror sites in USA, Finland, New Zealand.

    • Accessed from 82 countries.

    • E-mail responses running at 30 per day.

    "The site is a sophisticated and grand undertaking. The offerings are painstakingly researched and well presented...regardless of the legal outcome, the activists can already claim victory." - Activism Online, 19th Feb 96

    Coverage so far:
    USA Today (front page), NBC TV, Channel 4, The Independent, The Guardian, The Observer, Daily Express, Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Sun Times, Denver Post, Australian, Times of India, Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), LA Weekly, Daily Telegraph, BBC Radio 4 etc (Media section)

    McDonald's reaction:
    Mike Love (Head of Communications, McDonald's UK) said: - "If they want to prejudice the case it's up to them." - "We're not aware of any action that can be taken."

    The McLibel 2 (Helen Steel & Dave Morris) and volunteers from McSpotlight are available for interviews.

    McSpotlight images:
    Can be taken directly from the site or ordered from the McSpotlight Press Office, below. Footage of the launch and of the McLibel case in general is also available (Beta/VHS).

    McSpotlight Mailing List:
    If you would like to be added to the McSpotlight electronic mailing list, please send an email to with the message subscribe mcspotlight (your full name).

    N.B. This list is independent of the McLibel listserver and is used solely for McSpotlight mailings.

    UK Press Contact:
    Fax 0181 444 1597 Mobile 0374 140725

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