McDonald's refuses to accept a Gaelic name

Compiled by Tristan Davies

Daily Telegraph; 28th Dec 1996; UK

Already reeling from a long-running court case with two "green" activists, the fast-food chain McDonald's now faces a three-pronged assault from Scotland.

The first line of attack comes from Ronald McDonald, a retired teacher from Aberdeen. Mr McDonald, reports the Meat Trades Journal, is unhappy that he must share his name with the clown used by the burger chain to promote its products.

Next in line is the head of the McDonald clan, who has sought confirmation from the company that all businessmen called McDonald can use their clan name without risking legal action. Finally, the use of Chinese characters representing the company's name at a new McDonald's outlet in Beijing has sparked a protest from the Inverness-based Highland Council.

Outraged councillors point out that the Gaelic version of McDonald's - "MacDhomhnaill" - was deemed unacceptable by the fast-food group at its "drive-thru" restaurant in Fort William, and have written to the company's American headquarters demanding equal linguistic rights with the Chinese.

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