Clara’s College of Commerce

By: Ateeb Ansari – 01 Steffi Biswas – 03 Abhijeet Kadam 14 Thomas Kattahara -15 Shahil Mithani – 26

Sl. No . 1 History 2 PR at McDonald’s 3 McDonald’s vs. McCafé 4 McDonald's on the ball in PR battle McDonald's Public Awareness 5 Programs 6 McDonald's & "McJobs" 7 Animal welfare issues 8 McDonald Overview 9 News Releases


Pg. no. 3 7 9 12 14 21 23 24 24


Press Releases


McDonald's is the world's largest fast-food retailer "with more than 30,000 restaurants in 119 countries serving 47 million customers each day".

McDonald’s was originally established in the United States by the brothers Mac & Richard McDonald. After the failure of several car hop style restaurants, the brothers implemented a system emphasizing speed, volume, & low prices. The new system would use mechanized kitchens, assembly lines, & preassembled food to reduce cost, increase production, & generate higher customer turnover. Thus, in 1948, the modern McDonald’s restaurant made its debut. By 1955, the first franchise was opened by Ray Kroc in Des Plaines, Illinois, marking the creation of the McDonald’s Corporation. Though the McDonald’s brothers sold a few franchises, the franchising boom didn’t begin until Kroc purchased the rights to the chain in the early 1960’s. Kroc emphasized the idea of fast, low-priced, quality products offered in a clean, friendly environment. Rigorous rules governed franchise operations, creating homogeneity in the McDonald’s look, taste, & experience.

McDonald’s as a Symbol of American Culture
The restaurant became the proctor of the “great American meal,” as well as a locus for family, particularly with the rise of the Ronald HP McDonald clown & his cohorts. McDonald’s offered a unique experience to its consumers, advertising itself as a feel-good, familyoriented restaurant. As John Giles, a former McDonald’s public relations director, explained, “We offer more than just fast food…It’s an experience of fun, folks & food.” The marketing strategy proved successful with the American population. McDonald’s, with its

enormous popularity, widespread presence & standardized experience, became a permanent fixture on the American cultural landscape. Familiar McDonald’s restaurants soon began cropping up all over the country. In less than a generation, McDonald’s became “an American roadside landmark… characterized by a distinguishable form, visibility, & significance.” & before long, the corporation began expanding internationally, selling the rights to McDonald’s all over the world. Today, the golden arches are permanently etched in the minds of consumers not only as a trademark but also as a uniquely American landmark. As one McDonald’s executive explained, “McDonalds…is really a part of Americana.” A 2004 international survey probing some 20,000 consumers in 20 countries in Europe, Asia & Central & South America found that McDonald’s was at the forefront of those brands considered “extremely American.” The Independent of London lauds the Big Mac, McDonald’s best-known menu item, “as one of the great symbols of American culture.”

The Impact of McDonald’s on U.S. Image
When the McDonald’s Corporation began internationalizing its franchise in the 1970’s, the restaurants became exporters of American culture. They offered “drinkable, eatable & affordable bits of the American experience for millions of people around the world.” Those millions came to believe that they knew & understood America & Americans based on their experiences with McDonald’s. That experience, suggests Joe Kincheloe in his book, The Sign of the Burger, is one of modernity: the McDonald’s image of modernization is both economic & cultural & indelibly associated with the United States & that image exerts a powerful draw on diverse populations across the globe. The reasoning behind fast-food provides some insight into this notion of modernity. The McDonald’s restaurants are themselves products of an American vision of industrialization; as originally designed by the McDonald’s brothers, the assembly-line system combined with increased mechanization produce the restaurants’ characteristic speed & efficiency. Moreover, the very notion of fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s presupposes a particular lifestyle. Fast food gains relevance in an economy where time & efficiency are precious commodities, where the tempo of life is accelerated, where workers in

populated urban centers must capitalize on a short lunch break & require a convenient “fuel stop.” Privately owned & operated, both an emblem & a consequence of industrialization & free market operation, restaurants that offer fast food are “part & parcel of modern efficient capitalism.” It is in this fast-paced, free market context, with its emphasis on efficiency & technology, where McDonald’s—and other fast food restaurants like it—becomes meaningful. Thus, McDonald’s is not only the bearer of American food; it is also a forerunner of an American system that embodies modernity. McDonald’s conveys, through its numerous outlets, an entire cultural system that is communicated not only in the kinds of food it serves, but also the manner in which it dispenses its food (self-service), the expected behavior of its employees & customers, the cleanliness of the restaurant, & the speed of the meal. This culturally-specific American approach is not seamlessly adopted overseas: the notion of fast food, for example, collides with the leisurely meal upheld by the French; the requirement of friendliness on the part of McDonald’s employees appeared suspicious to residents of Hong Kong. Even when some locales absorb & adapt to McDonald’s restaurants, the ultimate outcome is often an intertwining of the American experience with the unique culture in which the restaurant is embedded. McDonald’s reflects & reinforces the image of the U.S. as the focal point of economic & cultural modernization. In his book, Kincheloe suggests that “[i]nscribed in those Golden Arches…is a vision of American modernity with all of the fast-paced, automobile-based, optimistic mobility that the Zeitgeist of that time & place could muster.” McDonald’s has reinforced the image of the United States as fast-paced, technological, & modern in economy & culture. That image, however, is subject to interpretation & valuation. The approach of this Americanized vision of modernity is increasingly viewed as an encroachment, & McDonald’s, in conjunction with other Americanbased multinationals & U.S. economic policies, is in part responsible for this fear.

McDonald’s & Notions of Globalization
McDonald’s has certainly contributed to the common misperception that “globalization is Americanization.” As McDonald’s becomes an increasingly common feature in the global urban landscape, its

pervasiveness begins to generate suspicion. Concerns over cultural imperialism have become rampant. Local cultures & practices are growing wary of McDonald’s presence, spawning fears that American traditions will usurp local ones. Local restaurant owners & tavern keepers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for example, marched against the invasion of McDonald’s & its fast food enterprise, shouting, “Down with hamburgers! Long live the corner bar!” The spread of McDonald’s brings about fears not only of American cultural imposition, but also of a more wide-ranging political, economic, & social conversion that is associated with globalization & capitalism & their related ills: the imposition of unhealthy food, the promotion of standardization, & the growing inequity in wealth & power. Jose Bové, a French farmer involved in an assault on a local McDonald’s, stated in an interview that he attacked the restaurant because of “the desire of these multinationals to impose this kind of [standardized] food on the planet, their social organization in which employees are treated like pawns, their way of destroying the local agriculture.” Bové & his claims resonated with many in France. He had become what the New York Times called a “national celebrity,” rubbing elbows with high level government officials, including Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. Even a year after the incident, about 15,000 people gathered in support of Bové at the opening of his trial. In the early 1990s, numerous criticisms of the McDonald’s Corporation were brought to light during an infamous libel case in Britain frequently nicknamed “McLibel.” Activists accused McDonald’s of environmental degradation, providing misleading information on their food’s nutritional content, exploitative advertising, animal cruelty, antiunion practices, & poor working conditions for McDonald’s employees; McDonald’s retaliated by suing the activists for libel. The ensuing trial took years to resolve, & while McDonald’s was largely vindicated—it was awarded about $96,000 in damages—the trial was described as a “public relations disaster” for the corporation. There were some important caveats to the final verdict: it was found that McDonald’s was indeed cruel to animals, its advertising did in fact exploit children, & the low wages paid to McDonald’s employees did depress fast-food salaries in Britain. Some critics suggested that the trial represented an attempt of corporate censorship & ultimately, McDonald’s suffered a loss of much of its “good neighbor” image.

It is unsurprising, then, that the McDonald’s Corporation has topped recent polls as the least ethical high-profile company, above others such as Nike, Shell, & Coca Cola. McDonald’s is not hated merely because it is a symbol of the United States, but rather because it is a large multinational that, to its critics, is associated with some of the greatest injustices in the modern globalized world. It is such damaging perceptions of American multinationals that return to haunt the United States itself. In the minds of critics, the U.S. has become linked with the worst of globalization & capitalism, as “the country that invented marketing [and] that has glorified business, consumerism, & exploitation.” Indeed, Pew global surveys have found that the U.S. suffers from increasingly negative views of its business practices.

What I Learned About PR at McDonalds I’d be willing to bet that almost everyone in America has visited McDonalds at least once in their lives. & I bet that, with some small exceptions, that you had a similar experience wherever you went. McDonalds was the first job I ever had. I started working at this McDonalds in Englewood, Colo., when I was 15 (just before my 16th birthday) until I was almost 18. This was much longer than the average of three months mentioned by one commentors on Bob's site. In my three years there, I learned a lot about human nature a few other things that helped me in the field of public relations. As such, I have always felt a general affinity with McDonalds, even though I know the food isn’t exactly good for me. So, when Bob Langert, Senior Director for Corporate Responsibility for McDonalds, & author of the Open for Discussion Blog, asked bloggers to give him suggestions for his new blog, I responded with a few tips. He volleyed, asking me to tell him what I learned (and everyone else), as a crew member at McDonalds. I've given it a little thought & there are three big lessons I learned that I carry with me today in my practice of public relations.

Know Your Audience I made biscuits everyday in the 5 a.m. shift before I went to school. I loved that shift because there were five or six regulars that would wait outside the doors of the restaurant until it opened. We usually had their breakfast, coffee or whatever they usually ordered on the counter when they walked in the door. If it was cold we would let them in a little early. In PR, knowing who you are serving & meeting their preferences is the key to unlocking loyalty. The Power of Having & Working a Plan Everything at McDonalds was regimented. We wore the same uniform, followed detailed processes for readying food, observed minimum wait times in the drive thru (2 minutes max) & even had systems for bagging food. Drinks first, salads, then sandwiches & finally fries (to make sure they stayed hot). The manager would call to the grill in anticipation of how much food we needed. Everything was timed & customers were generally happy with the food served up by this otherwise motley crew. Likewise, in PR it is important to have a plan in place so that you aren’t always running from crisis to crisis. How to Shift Gears in a Crisis Picture this, a bus with more than 50 kids arrives & their chaperones in the restaurant & you have enough food for about 10, the average crowd at that time of day. It takes a good two to three minutes to get 20 hamburgers made & don’t even ask for a filet of fish, fry times are longer – which also means we don’t have enough fries. What do you do, well, you innovate within the plan. We took orders & “parked” the customers to the side so that the lines didn’t get out of hand. We pulled a person off the register to fill orders & the manager kept up with the fries, taking pressure off of the front line. We then handed out free kids cones to appease the crowd. In a PR, when a crisis hits, it is important to know who does what. The McDonald’s system makes that apparent, everyone has defined roles, so the manager can easily make a few tweaks to “hone the plan” in action. A PR crisis plan should do the same. Debbie Weil at Blog Write for CEOs also carried a story about the

McDonalds blog yesterday that mentioned this challenge to me by Bob, & in response to her post, yes, I am in public relations.

Lifestyle PR: Will McDonald's Win the Coffee Wars with McCafe?

As we all know you can’t go anywhere without seeing a McDonald’s in a 20 mile radius. The recession has been good to McDonald’s as consumer’s trade down to cheaper & faster food on the go. But what is next for the golden arches? It may just be the immense buzz going around about their new rollout of their $100 million McCafe campaign starting this year. This longawaited national campaign for its new coffee line is touted as the biggest launch in its history. Over the past 18 months, McDonald's has been steadily introducing hot & iced lattes & coffees, cappuccinos & mochas in individual markets across the country, & adding smoothies & frappes to the mix later this year & into 2010. With this coffee push, it’s the biggest menu initiative since it began offering breakfast in the 1970s. The $100 million spent on advertising is going to span across TV, print, outdoor, radio, Internet, & events. These advertisements will start off strongly throughout the summer, & well into next year. You may have already seen their marketing push with coupon booklets in newspapers for McCafe or in national television ads. Their goal is to portray McCafé as a fun, affordable brand that can make even the most mundane daily tasks more enjoyable. McCafe has even made its way to the catwalk. In addition to their advertising budget, McCafe is the new sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. They will have a McCafe lounge & tents all throughout,

marketing to fashion elites & fashionistas to get them hooked on their caramel lattes & frappuccino (and who wouldn't want savvy fashionistas with a McCafe coffee or latte in hand?) The timing of the rollout just happens to coincide with the struggles of Starbucks. Will this new campaign help McDonald's become the coffee brand of choice? We'd love to know what you think.

McDonald's Corporation Elects Don Thompson as President & COO; Jan Fields & Jim Johannesen named to lead McDonald's USA
OAK BROOK, Ill., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -Jim Skinner, Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's Corporation, today announced that Don Thompson, currently President of McDonald USA, has been elected to the role of President & Chief Operating Officer, with oversight responsibility for the company's 32,000 restaurants worldwide. At the same time, Skinner & Thompson jointly announced the promotions of Jan Fields, currently Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer for McDonald's USA, to succeed Thompson as President of McDonald's USA, & Jim Johannesen, currently U.S. Division President--Central Division, to succeed Fields as Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer for McDonald's Thompson, Fields & Johannesen were elected by the McDonald's Board of Directors today, & assume their new duties immediately. In making the announcement, CEO Skinner said, "Don Thompson has done an outstanding job leading our U.S. business, & I am confident he will bring the same energy & innovative thinking to his new global role as President & Chief Operating Officer. I also know he will hit the ground running, having worked collaboratively for many years with our
10 | P a g e

Area of the World leadership teams to share strategic solutions & execute our successful Plan to Win. Don's U.S. leadership experience, combined with the great record he had as Executive Vice President of our global Restaurant Systems group, uniquely qualifies him for this next important responsibility at McDonald's." Andy McKenna, Chairman of McDonald's Board, said, "Don is a great example of McDonald's remarkable ability to develop leaders who are immediately prepared to step up to the next level of executive responsibilities. The Board is confident that Jim, Don & the entire senior management team will work together to continue McDonald's worldwide business success." Skinner noted that the promotions of Thompson, Fields & Johannesen reflect the company's deep bench of talented & experienced executives. "Seamless management change is a by-product of McDonald's commitment to leadership development & talent management," Skinner said. "Together with our Board of Directors, we have made succession planning a competitive advantage for our company worldwide." "I'm confident our positive momentum & business performance in the U.S. will continue under Jan Fields & Jim Johannesen," Thompson said. "Jan has been my trusted colleague in leading our U.S. system, & I know she has the complete respect & total support of our owneroperators, suppliers & staff. Jan epitomizes the very best values of our system--a commitment to franchising, continuous improvement, & putting our customers at the center of everything we do. With the support of Jim Johannesen, she will continue to drive customer satisfaction & value." Thompson, 46, began his McDonald's career in 1990 as an engineer in the Restaurant Systems Group. He moved into restaurant operations four years later, & rose quickly through the operations ranks. He was named Regional Manager of the San Diego Region in 1998, & was promoted to Regional Vice President a year later. In 2000 he was named President of the Midwest Division of McDonald's USA, & in 2001 was appointed President of the company's West Division. In 2004, he
11 | P a g e

returned to Oak Brook as Executive Vice President of McDonald's Restaurant Systems Group. A year later he was promoted to Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer for McDonald's USA, & in 2006 was named President of McDonald's USA. Fields, 54, began her McDonald's career as a crew person for a McDonald's owner-operator, & joined McDonald's Corporation in 1978 as a Restaurant Manager Trainee. She moved through McDonald's operations career path as an Area Supervisor, Field Consultant, Operations Manager, & Director of Operations. In 1994, she was promoted to Regional Manager of the Pittsburgh Region. In 2000, Fields was promoted to U.S. Senior Vice President & Central Division Support Officer. Three years later, she was named U.S. Division President for the Central Division, & in 2006 she was named to her current role as Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer, McDonald's USA. Johannesen, 55, joined McDonald's in 1979 as an attorney in the Corporate Legal Department. In 1986, he was named Director for McDonald's Business Affairs group, & in 1992 he became an Assistant Vice President within the U.S. Restaurant Development Department. In 1998, Johannesen moved into restaurant operations as Regional Vice President of the Phoenix Region. Three years later he was named Vice President & General Manager of the Chicago Region. In 2002 he was promoted to U.S. Senior Vice President & Chief Support Officer for McDonald's USA. In 2006, he was promoted to his current role as President of the Central Division. Complete biographical information for Thompson, Fields & Johannesen is available through McDonald's Corporate Media Relations Department at McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than 32,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries. About 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned & operated by franchisees.

12 | P a g e

McDonald's on the ball in PR battle

McDonald's is upping the ante in its PR battle against critics who link its food with childhood obesity by funding the training of 10,000 community football coaches across the country. The company has trained 5,100 local club level football coaches across the UK since 2002 & hopes its efforts will have a trickle-down effect in the battle against the negative PR that is engulfing the company. Unlike Walkers, which promoted a school books campaign, McDonald's prefers a low key approach, advertising on noticeboards about local football teams in its outlets rather than through a large advertising campaign. "It's a community programme for McDonald's, it's not a marketing programme," said Caron Beith, the head of Leo Sports, a division of Leo Burnett, McDonald's advertising agency. The coaching programming is one plank in McDonald's PR strategy in the obesity debate. The company has stepped up advertising its salads & healthy foods to counter negative publicity surrounding the release of the antiMcDonald's documentary, Super Size Me, in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock damaged his liver after eating nothing but McDonald's food for a month. McDonald's launched a new phase in its healthy eating campaign with a newspaper advertisement asking readers, "Don't fancy a Hamburger?" & answering, "Then you have come to the right place." Another advert promoted its salads in press adverts with the caption, "Funny looking fries". Ms Beith said the community programme had benefits for McDonald's in the obesity PR war. "McDonald's uses the coaching programme to encourage people to be more active," she said. The coaches are recruited & trained by the Football Association in England, & the relevant associations in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. But children & their parents cannot fail to be aware that McDonald's funds them. The coaches wear tracksuits with McDonald's
13 | P a g e

logos & use 16 footballs supplied in two kit bags that are branded with the McDonald's logo. "When Ray Kroc started McDonald's, being a part of the community was part of his ethos," Ms Beith said. The company is on track to achieve its target of training 10,000 coaches by 2006. It has a long-standing history in sponsoring grassroots football in Britain. By the end of 2004, it will have invested £21.2m such programmes since 1995. To date 400 McDonald's staff have become coaches & police in Cardiff have used the programme to build links with young people in deprived areas. When the programme ends in two years the FA will have trained 8,000 coaches in England. Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland football associations will train 2000 coaches. The programme has generated good PR for the brand. In January pop singer Justin Timberlake, who sings the global McDonald's jingle I'm Lovin' It, dropped in on Berryhill Primary School in Scotland with Kenny Dalglish, the head of McDonald's Scottish football, for a coaching session.

McDonald's Public Awareness Programs
Mc Donald’s & obesity
Following unsuccessful class actions against fast food retailers in the U.S. over obesity, McDonald's has sought to shield itself from future actions by promoting 'personal responsibility' & diversifying its menu options & changing its advertising style. In April 2004 McDonald's announced its commitment to "balanced lifestyles." "Our customers were telling us that they wanted more choice & balance. We started working vigorously on the plan to pull things together. A lot of the stuff that was announced today was in the making for one or two years," Ken Barun, corporate VP for balanced lifestyles & CEO & president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities told PR Week. McDonald's announced it would "educate, assist, & engage consumers in ways that change individual behavior, resulting in better food/energy (calorie-in/calorie-out) balance in their lives." Initiatives
14 | P a g e

included the "Go Active! Adult Happy Meal" which included a premium salad, bottled water & a pedometer. The program gained the endorsement of the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services Tommy G. Thompson. "Having him there was a real endorsement for us & the work that we're doing. He's established [good] relations with our US president Mike Roberts," Barun told PR Week. McDonald's also promised to take an "industry-leading role" in working with Health & Human Services to determine the best ways to communicate nutrition information to consumers. In November 2004, PR Week reported that McDonald's head of U.S. communications, Michael Donahue, is "an adherent of using third-party endorsers." Donahue "had seen firsthand the value of using third-party endorsers" when McDonald's "was fighting a battle over the role its packaging played in waste-disposal problems in the late 1980s & early '90s." He used that approach in the company's "balanced lifestyle" PR campaign: "McDonald's aligned itself with Paul Newman as it introduced its new salads last year. Salads were rolled out in April with a New York press conference featuring Newman," reported PR Week. Additional luminaries were enlisted to pitch McDonald's new Fruit & Walnut Salad in 2005. The campaign's aim was to associate the salad with the celebrity cache of young, healthy, thin & hip superstars. McDonald's tied the announcement of the salad to its sponsorship of Destiny's Child world tour, a musical act with a huge teenage audience that McDonald's sought to tap & impress with their musical icons' ostensible endorsement of the salad. Tennis champion Venus Williams also jumped on the salad bandwagon. Additionally, nutritionist Dr. Rovenia Brock was also enlisted to "help spread the message of balance creation nationwide to key influencers & McDonald’s customer’s nationwide--particularly African American families." This marketing tie-in along with celebrity endorsements is part of McDonald's broader effort to include African Americans among its "key" marketing demographics. Targeting this audience had already been an important business strategy, however, as in March 2005, McDonald's announced an offer to pay hip-hop artists in exchange for plugging Big Macs in their songs. In response, BusinessWeek commentator David Kiley wrote, "I happen to think McDonald's, for all the flack it gets about the childhood obesity problem, has a perfect right to sell Big Macs. But here's where the logic of this hip-hop plan jumps the rails for me. McDonald's just kicked off a campaign to
15 | P a g e

advertise healthy eating & promoting physical activity to couch potato kids. Statistics are pretty clear that the obesity problem is especially bad among minorities in urban neighborhoods, arguably because there are more fast-food joints in poor neighborhoods than produce stands & good quality supermarkets." The chain also worked with Oprah Winfrey's personal trainer, Bob Greene. "The result was the Go Active! American Challenge with Bob Greene, a campaign that had Greene visiting 36 cities to talk to consumers about balancing exercise with healthy eating & living habits." PR Week reported, "The Greene campaign garnered more than 1 billion media impressions for McDonald's & helped defuse negative publicity from the film Super Size Me." Enlisting "moms" In June 2007, Advertising Age reported that McDonald's is recruiting mothers as "quality correspondents" to observe & report on its operations, in an attempt to deflect criticism that its fast food makes children fat. In a message sent to "mother-oriented social networks & freebie product sites" McDonald's offered mothers a chance at "behind-the-scenes access to the farms [where] our fresh ingredients are grown." The winning mothers "are expected to participate in as many as three 'field trips' lasting two to three days, & receive payment for 'reasonable travel expenses.'" A McDonald's spokesperson said the company will then give mothers "avenues to be able to share their findings." McDonald's opened its "moms' quality correspondence" PR campaign in early June 2007, meeting with the six mothers "at the company's global headquarters in Oak Brook, IL," reported PR Week. "Future interactions will include a visit to a beef supplier in August & a 'farm field' & produce supplier in September. ... The moms will also get the chance to work behind the counter of McDonald's in Oklahoma City." McDonald's PR executive Tara Lazarus Hayes said the mothers "will get to see first-hand how menu items are made, & ask our executives tough questions about nutrition," & also get a "sneak peek" at a "product due to launch next year." The campaign is geared to help McDonald's neutralize criticism about fast food & childhood obesity. "We're also hoping to dispel that McJob image," added Hayes. "We understand the mom-to-mom dialogue is important because they
16 | P a g e

listen & influence each other." She explained that McDonald's hopes "the misperceptions they had & myths that are out there will be debunked by their [the mothers'] experience." The mothers will write about their experiences "and have them posted, unedited by McDonald's, online at" Nutrition Shell Game In March 2004, prior to the release of the movie Super Size Me, McDonald's announced its intention to stop supersizing fries & sodas. The company claimed the change was part of an overall plan to revamp its menu. Merely eliminating the "supersize" 7 oz. French fries while maintaining the "large" 6 oz. portion is still significantly larger than the original 2.4 oz. size fries McDonald's first served in the 1950s, however. Soda sizes would still range from 12 oz. to 32 oz. Moreover, although the supersized soft drinks were removed as menu items, the products remain available as a "promotional option" for franchises. During a one-month promotion in Chicago, for example, McDonald's customers who bought a Big Mac & fries could get a free 42-oz beverage. For a Coke that means 410 calories & 28 teaspoons of sugar. Anna Rozenich, a spokesperson for McDonald's, insisted that this was not supersizing but was giving the franchises flexibility to promote larger sizes if competitors were offering larger sizes. In 2003, McDonald's salads, one of the company's touted "healthy" items, were among the worst offenders on a nutritional analysis of fast-food salads conducted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). PCRM noted that all of the corporation's salad entrees contain chicken & concluded that all the salads "may very well clog up your arteries." The Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken & Newman's Own Ranch Dressing was awarded "the dubious distinction of having the most fat of any salad rated. At 661 calories & 51 grams of fat, this salad is a diet disaster," with "more fat & calories & just as much cholesterol as a Big Mac." Soon after the study was released, McDonald's revised its nutrition facts to list all of the salads without chicken as an option. McDonald's also updated its Happy Meals to combat charges that it was turning young people into loyal Big Mac & McFlurry fans. "Happy Meal Choices" gives parents the options of replacing French fries with "Apple Dippers" & Coke with apple juice or milk. There is, however, no substitute for the hamburger, cheeseburger or Chicken McNuggets.
17 | P a g e

McDonald's, like other fast-food restaurants, must get food, any food, into the mouths of cash-carrying customers, so when one of the new items fails to make money, it is quickly removed. Such was the fate of the apparently less than popular Go Active! Adult Happy Meal, which was jettisoned soon after it had delivered the desired halo effect of positive feelings about the chain after its introduction in 2004. Encouraging Kids to Get Fit In January 2005, McDonald's Chief Creative Officer Marlena Peleo-Lazar told a government panel concerned with food marketing to children that Ronald McDonald had morphed from "chief happiness officer" into an "ambassador for an active, balanced lifestyle" & was visiting elementary schools to tout exercise. Ronald also got a makeover to look more active in June 2005, trading in his trademark yellow jumpsuit for sportier garb. McDonald's also introduced a new program called Active Achievers in fall 2005 to "deliver educational messages to students about nutrition, & balance between eating right & staying active." They also announced a program called Passport to Play, which was distributed to 31,000 schools & seven million children. Psychologist Susan Linn, cofounder of the Campaign for a CommercialFree Childhood, said McDonald's had no place in schools: "This is another marketing ploy. The notion that children need Ronald McDonald to get them to enjoy exercise is bogus. Given the opportunity, kids naturally like to be active." Menu Labeling In 2006, McDonald's announced its intention to place nutrition information on the packaging of most of its menu items to, in part, combat the indictments of the voluntary system of menu labeling that relegated much of this information to brochures or company websites. McDonald's called the move "the latest transparency initiative information to help customers make informed choices." Critics contend that seeing the calories on the wrapper of a cheeseburger you've already purchased is ineffective. Ironically, only thirty years earlier, in 1975, however, McDonald's had fought off a federal proposal to require nutrition labeling on packaging, using much the same language that critics of the 2006 announcement were using to point out the limitations of the packaging approach. Despite expressing profound distaste for the idea of menu labeling in
18 | P a g e

the 1970s, McDonald's reluctantly agreed to make nutrition information available through in-restaurant brochures. McDonald's also claimed that they had decided to give out nutrition information voluntarily, without mentioning that they had been forced to do it by the attorneys general in New York, Texas & California. In 1990, McDonald's (and the rest of the restaurant industry) managed to successfully exempt itself from the Nutrition Labeling & Education Act's updated "Nutrition Facts" law, which required that all packaged foods be labeled with specific nutrition data. Industry's sway over lawmakers was so great, however, that they managed to escape the FDA's labeling rules. McDonald's continues to combat putting nutrition information on menu boards. McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner claimed that doing so would be too complex & slow down service. "Pledging" to do better In 2006, McDonald's joined the Children's Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative launched by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which asks participating companies to prepare a voluntary "pledge" to shift a portion of their advertising to kids under 12 to healthier choices. McDonald's released its pledge in July 2007. The pledge promises to, among other things, direct 100% of national advertising to children under 12 to furthering "the goal of healthy dietary choices;" advertise either the 4 piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal or Hamburger Happy Meal as the healthier option; limit the use of licensed characters to the promotion of healthier choices; or place its food on any program directed at kids. They created a supplement to the pledge in May 2008 that added more meals to the list of advertised foods that qualified as a "healthier option." McDonald's defines "healthier choices" as those under 600 calories, a highly caloric meal for a child. Additionally, in November 2008, McDonald's received an award for multicultural advertising from the Association of National Advertisers for a television commercial featuring children under 12 waving bags of McDonald's food. The ad, clearly targeting children, offers insight into the boundaries & exceptions made in the pledge. Countering "Super Size Me"

19 | P a g e

Early in 2004, Morgan Spurlock released a documentary film, Super Size Me, in which he ate three meals a day at McDonald's & gained 25 pounds. The title of the film is a play on the now abolished McDonald's "Super Size" menu option. In May, when the documentary was slated for release in 35 theatres in the U.S., Walt Riker, McDonald's VP of corporate communications, told PR Week that the company was "responding aggressively because the film is a gross misrepresentation of what McDonald's is all about". According to PR Week McDonald's has been promoting its global nutritionist Cathy Kapica with the company pleased to report that she has been quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Los Angeles Times & will appear on CNN, CNBC & in an Associated Press story. The trade magazine also reported McDonald's had released both a video news release & an audio news release & that "an aggressive independent third-party response" would be issued by the American Council on Science & Health (ACSH). ACSH's Ruth Kava had a column published on Tech Central Station. In response to Spurlock's film So-so Whaley, an adjunct fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has launched her own 30-day McDonald's only diet. "This anti-corporate, anti-fast food take on the 'evil' McDonald's is nothing more than simple junk science & should be relegated to the comedy section at Blockbuster once it is distributed. To be honest, I've had it with all the doom & gloom, alarmist, anti-everything attitude of certain individuals & organizations who want to control my life, your life, everyone's life with little regard for individual tastes, freedom of choice & personal responsibility," she wrote in her diary: My real purpose is not to prove something, rather, I see this as a unique opportunity to explore food & weight issues & separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to what is reported about our health & well being in the media & other sources. While Waley claimed her project was not out to prove something, the media head line for from CEI the day before her 30-day project indicated was: Filmmaker to Challenge Fast Food Perceptions: Will Eat at McDonald's for 30 Days & Lose Weight. The criticisms of Spurlock by others allowed McDonald's to appear disinterested in responding to the issues raised in the film. "We see no reason to respond to Morgan Spurlock when so many other experts have already spoken out on the film's distortions & irresponsibility, including those consumers who voluntarily are conducting their own
20 | P a g e

independent 30-day McDonald's diet to disprove his over-the-top behavior," Riker said in a media release. But McDonald's U.S. head of communications Michael Donahue & Patti Temple Rocks, who does PR for McDonald's at the Golin Harris PR firm "credit McDonald's proactive efforts around the balanced lifestyle theme" - in particular, the Go Active! Campaign - "with blunting the movie's impact on sales. 'It's not a coincidence that the movie has had virtually zero financial impact,'" Rocks told PR Week. McDonald's in Australia filmed three commercials which disputed some of the claims in the film. Super Size Me grossed the highest opening weekend takings for a documentary in Australian history. Spurlock claims he consumed 13.5 kilos of sugar & 5.5 kilograms of fat, while his weight increased by 11.25 kilos. McDonald's Australia was the first McDonald's in the world to use advertising to publicly attack the movie. The strategy had been to ignore it, but research from customers indicated that McDonald's silence might be taken as an admission of guilt. SAFE from real labor commitments After its protests "forced Taco Bell to pay tomato pickers a penny more per pound," the Florida-based labor rights group Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) started "pressuring McDonald's for a similar agreement." Instead, McDonald's joined the "Socially Accountable Farm Employer (SAFE) voluntary certification program." Launched in November 2005, SAFE is run by board members of the industry group Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association & an association grantee, the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (a childcare provider with no experience in labor issues). SAFE is represented by CBR Public Relations, one of McDonald's PR firms, which specializes in "activist response management." Intertek, a firm that "already performs safety audits for McDonald's," will evaluate SAFE members' compliance. SAFE "does not include any input from workers," "does little to address low wages," & "does not guarantee workers overtime pay or the right to organize." A CIW organizer said McDonald's joined SAFE "to protect their public image in place of making a change in our lives."

McDonald's & "McJobs"

21 | P a g e

"There's good reason such service-sector positions are called 'McJobs'," wrote Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser. His Los Angeles Times piece described Proposition 72, "an initiative that would require large & medium-sized business owners to give health benefits to their workers," & which California voters will consider on November 2, 2004. "The leading corporate sponsor of the effort to block its passage," wrote Schlosser, "is McDonald's. ... The fast-food industry is the nation's largest employer of minimum-wage labor. ... Led by McDonald's, the industry has pioneered a workforce that earns low wages, gets little training, receives few benefits & has one of the highest turnover rates of any trade." Other opponents of Proposition 72 include Burger King, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, Walgreen, Best Buy, Target, Sears, YUM! Brands(owner of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut & KFC), the California Chamber of Commerce & the California Restaurant Association. California's state legislature had already passed a bill in 2003, signed into law by then-Governor Gray Davis, that required larger businesses to offer health care benefits. But fast-food companies, big box retail chains & their allies spent "millions of dollars to rescind the law through the initiative process," wrote Schlosser. In their campaign to defeat the initiative, the same groups ran television ads relying on "scare tactics, distortions & ... fundamental misrepresentation[s] of Proposition 72." Proposition 72 failed. PR Week reported that McDonald's head of U.S. communications, Michael Donahue, included "good news" about the restaurant chain's impact on local economies as part of a new, "proactive" corporate PR campaign. In 2002, Donahue "held a summit of the 125 PR firms that work with McDonald's & its various owner-operators across the country, encouraging them to tell McDonald's story locally," reported PR Week. Donahue encouraged local owners & PR firms to showcase
22 | P a g e

"studies in various markets that showed the economic impact" of McDonald's - studies funded by the company itself. "Local owner groups can use such studies to show their contribution to the local community," while stressing that the company prioritizes social responsibility, reported PR Week. PR Week. In June 2007, Time magazine reported that McDonald's was "lobbying dictionary publishers to change the meaning of the word McJob -- or remove it altogether -- on the grounds that it denigrates the company's employees." McJob is commonly used to refer to "an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects," according to the Oxford English Dictionary. McDonald's wants to redefine it as "a job that is stimulating, rewarding ... & offers skills that last a lifetime." Polluting MTV "Magazine Advertising Age reported that McDonald's has hired marketing firm Maven Strategies to help get the sandwich name checked into upcoming songs. Maven Strategies performed well last year, after landing the Seagram’s Gin into five rap songs, from such acts as Kanye West, Twista, Franchise Boys & Petey Pablo," Nolan Strong wrote in an article. Ad boycott against Air America Radio McDonald's refused to advertise on the progressive Air America Radio. In October 2006, around 90 companies, including McDonald's, told ABC Radio Networks that they did not want their ads to play on radio stations that carried Air America Radio. McLibel or the ugly truth? The McLibel Trial is the infamous British court case between McDonald's & a postman & a gardener from London (Helen Steel & Dave Morris). It ran for two & a half years & became the longest ever English trial. The Judge delivered his verdict in June 1997. The verdict was devastating for McDonald's. The judge ruled that they 'exploit children' with their advertising, produce 'misleading' advertising, are 'culpably responsible' for cruelty to animals, are 'antipathetic' to unionization & pay their workers low wages. But Helen & Dave failed to prove all the points & so the Judge ruled that they HAD libeled McDonald's & should pay $40,000 damages. They refused & McDonald's knew better than to pursue it. In March 1999 the Court of
23 | P a g e

Appeal made further rulings against McDonald's in relation to heart disease & employment. As a result of the court case, the mushroomed, the press coverage increased exponentially, the McSpotlight website was born & a 60minute documentary was produced. The legal controversy continues. The McLibel 2 have taken the British Government to the European Court of Human Rights to defend the public's right to criticize multinationals, claiming UK libel laws are oppressive & unfair. In early May 2004 the European Court of Human Rights has declared as admissible Steel & Morris's claim that the McLibel trial breached their Article 6 right to a fair trial & Article 10 right to freedom of expression.

Animal welfare issues

Business Ethics magazine criticizes animal cruelty In 1999, McDonald’s was nominated by Business Ethics Magazine for its' prestigious Business Ethics Award. However, the magazine decided not to grant them the award due to animal welfare issues & concerns. According to an open letter from the judges, published in the November/December 1999 issue: "We must express concern about slaughterhouse cruelty by McDonald’s suppliers. ...Federal standards require that 100 percent of cows be fully stunned before they are skinned, but (according to) a McDonald’s training video’s acceptable if five cows in every 100 are conscious while skinned & dismembered. It’s inhumane to allow animals to suffer in this manner. & the real error rate may be far more than 5 percent ...In the case of chickens, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations say they should have at least 2 square feet of space, yet McDonald’s suppliers allow only . 55 square feet—not enough space for a chicken to spread one wing. In addition, birds are bred to grow so large, their legs can’t bear the weight, & they suffer painful leg deformities. Surely it’s not asking too much to change policies, so that these animals are granted a modicum of comfort." Although McDonald’s referred to itself as an "industry leader in animal welfare", the editors were aware of McLibel. In 1997, when Chief Justice Roger Bell of the British High Court in London returned his lengthy findings, he cited McDonald's as "culpably responsible" for animal cruelty. An Appeals Court judge agreed:
24 | P a g e

"Keeping large numbers of chickens in close confinement inevitably leads to disease ...The high density is intentional & unnecessary. ...In my judgement it’s cruel." McDonald’s is largest purchaser of beef & the second largest purchaser of poultry in the United States.

McDonald's Overview

Despite its worldwide proliferation, McDonald’s is still an indelible symbol of American culture. Representing the world’s largest chain of fast food restaurants, the McDonald’s golden arches are nearly ubiquitous; the chain boasts some 31,000 restaurants in over 154 countries that together serve about 52 million customers each day. With one of the top-ten most-recognized brands in the world— the golden arches, claims Joe Kincheloe, even outcompete the Christian cross—the McDonald’s Corporation poses interesting challenges to public diplomacy.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest user of beef, & of all companies, probably has the most colorful animal rights history. From the longest trial in British history, to the non-vegetarian French fry scandal, to their support of factory farming practices, McDonald’s seems unable to keep themselves out of the campaigns of animal activists. The McLibel Trial In 1990, McDonald’s sued five British activists for libel, in what would turn out to be the longest trial in British history & a public relations disaster. McDonald’s sued the activists over a pamphlet titled “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s -- Everything They Don’t Want You to Know,” that they had allegedly published & distributed. The pamphlet contained numerous accusations about McDonald’s environmental destruction, animal cruelty, employee exploitation, & unhealthy food. At the beginning of the “McLibel” trial, three of the activists backed down & apologized to McDonald’s. However, two activists refused to apologize, & stood their ground. Helen Steel & Dave Morris, a gardener & a postman, represented themselves in court with minimal professional legal advice. Their costs were covered by public donations.
25 | P a g e

After many pre-trial motions & hearings, the trial began officially in 1994. Expert witnesses on health, the environment, & animal agriculture testified on the accusations contained in the pamphlet. Throughout the trial, the defendants provided quotes from the transcripts to the media, & the world watched as the large, multinational corporation’s team of attorneys bullied the two activists in court. Negative quotes on nutrition, working conditions, & environmental destruction came from McDonald’s own witnesses & documents, which provided ample fodder for the media frenzy. Arguments continued through 1996, & in 1997, the judge rendered his decision. He ruled that the defendants had not proven the truth of their accusations relating to rainforest destruction, heart disease & cancer, food poisoning & starvation in the Third World. But they had proved that McDonald’s exploits children, falsely claims that their food is nutritious, is responsible for cruelty to animals & pays their employees low wages. Because Steel & Morris were not able to prove all of the allegations in the pamphlet, they were found liable & were ordered to pay 60,000 pounds to McDonald’s. The defendants vowed not to pay the money & stated that they had no money anyway, & McDonald’s did not attempt to collect it. In 2005, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the McLibel trial breached the defendants’ right to a fair trial & right to free speech, mainly because they were denied legal aid. Although the verdict was arguably a legal victory for McDonald’s, the case was called “the biggest Corporate PR disaster in history.” Non-Vegetarian French Fries McDonald’s announced in 1990 (coincidentally, the same year the McLibel lawsuit was filed) that its french fries are fried in 100% vegetable oil. Many vegetarians started consuming the fries, because they had previously been fried in a mixture of beef tallow & vegetable oil. However, in 2001, it became widely known that the “natural flavor” in the list of ingredients of the fries was actually beef extract. The beef extract is added before the
26 | P a g e

fries are frozen & shipped to the individual restaurants, where they are then fried in 100% vegetable oil. Faced with the wrath of vegetarians who felt that they had been deceived, McDonald’s stated that they had never claimed that their fries were vegetarian. However, some McDonald’s employees did claim that the fries were vegetarian. & in 1993, McDonald’s had sent a letter in response to a customer inquiry that listed the fries as a food that vegetarians can enjoy at McDonald’s. A class action lawsuit was filed against McDonald’s on behalf of all vegetarians, & McDonald’s agreed in 2002 to settle for $10 million, with $6 million going to vegetarian organizations.

Factory Farming
In 1999, PETA began a campaign against McDonald’s, demanding that the company purchase products only from suppliers that met certain humane standards. The “McCruelty” campaign was indefinitely suspended 11 months later, when McDonald’s agreed to several conditions, including buying eggs only from suppliers that offered at least 72 square inches of space per hen & did not engage in the cruel practice of forced molting. However, this was not the end of the story. By 2008, McDonald’s had made no further improvements since 1999. During that same time period, Burger King adopted a more stringent set of policies for animal welfare. The Humane Society of the US demanded that McDonald’s adopt an animal welfare policy that is at least as rigorous as Burger King’s. In 2009, PETA renewed its McCruelty campaign. According to PETA: All of McDonald's U.S. chicken suppliers use a system called "electrical immobilization" to kill birds, which involves dumping birds out of transport crates & hanging them upside-down in metal shackles—often resulting in broken bones, extreme bruising, & hemorrhaging. The birds
27 | P a g e

then have their throats cut while they are still conscious & are often immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still alive & able to feel pain. PETA is now asking McDonald's to "demand that its suppliers switch to a less cruel method of chicken slaughter called controlled-atmosphere killing, or CAK." As long as McDonald’s is the world’s largest user of beef, they will never be the corporate paragon of animal welfare. They do, however, have a long way to go before they can even hope to no longer be a target for animal activists. PETA vs. McDonald's: The Nicest Way to Kill a Chicken: As of this week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has ended its truce with McDonald’s. For nine years, PETA was working with the burger chain “to modernize the company’s animal welfare standards & make further improvements” according to PETA’s “McCruelty” site, but now the group has lost its patience. At issue is the least cruel way to kill a chicken. Most chickens in the United States are shackled upside-down while fully conscious, then run through an electrically-charged tub of water to knock them out before they’re slaughtered. But PETA says this method only immobilizes the birds, & they can still feel pain. Instead, PETA endorses using gas to kill the chickens before they’re processed. McDonald’s, PETA says, “lags behind” its competitors in switching over to the gas method, known as “controlled atmosphere killing,” or CAK. Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s & Wendy’s “are now giving purchasing preference or consideration” to suppliers that use CAK, according to a PETA press release. McDonald’s actually studied the issue & released a report in 2005. According to PETA, the report states unequivocally that CAK is “far better for animals than the current slaughter method.” What the report actually said, however, is that it was “premature” to jump to gas, as
28 | P a g e

the method was “still in the early stage of development,” but that McDonald’s would keep an eye on it in the future. The report wasn’t about just controlled atmosphere killing (CAK), but about the more general subject of controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS), which includes methods that gas chickens until they’re unconscious but not actually dead. CAK & CAS are used more regularly in Europe, & McDonald’s consulted suppliers there that use these methods. One of the big advantages of CAS, it found, is that workers aren’t struggling to shackle live chickens. From a business perspective, that means fewer worker injuries & the ability to put the chickens through the assembly line more efficiently. From an animal-lovers perspective, it also protects chickens from the sadism of bored factory workers. The disadvantages, of course, are cost-related. Gas systems require more workers training & take up more space. PETA has long made the case that companies recoup these costs quickly because processing dead chickens is so much easier & more efficient than processing live ones — & it backs up its case with quotes from a variety of companies that have made the switch & been happy with it. But McDonald’s isn’t buying that argument, apparently — nor is KFC, which PETA has been protesting & putting pressure on for years, with no results, at least in the U.S. And the National Chicken Council insists there is no proven animal welfare benefit to CAS. Conventional stunning is “both effective & humane,” it says, while gassed chickens may suffer horribly as they’re being cruelly suffocated. That part — the gassing part — is not shown in the PETA video that contrasts the stunning process with the process of cutting chickens that are already dead. & there are animal rights advocates who acknowledge that the gassing process can be quite horrible. The McDonald’s report even touched on the issue that while gassing might be simple & humane on a small scale, things can go wrong once it’s implemented in larger operations. A member of McDonald’s Animal Welfare Council described how chickens suffer if the gas levels aren’t correct. Both systems can have
29 | P a g e

problems, she told the Chicago Tribune. In the end, though, she favored the gas method, saying, “I’d like to see someone in the industry put up a full-scale commercial plant & make it work.”

Help Stop McDonald's Cruelty Now!
Almost everyone has heard of McDonald's, most people have eaten at the chain at least once, but many people don't know about the horrific cruelty that goes into every portion of chicken served under the Golden Arches. &

In the slaughterhouses of McDonald's U.S. chicken suppliers, birds are dumped out of their transport crates & hung upside-down in metal shackles, which often results in broken bones, extreme bruising, & hemorrhaging. Workers have the opportunity to abuse live birds, & birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Many birds are immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still alive & able to feel pain.

McDonald's has the ability to end these abuses. There is a less cruel method of chicken slaughter available to McDonald's suppliers called controlled-atmosphere killing, or CAK, & it would cost the corporation nothing to demand that its suppliers use it. CAK would eliminate the worst abuses currently suffered by chickens killed for McDonald's in the U.S. In fact, a 2005 study about CAK produced by McDonald's concluded that it is far better for animals than
30 | P a g e

the current method of slaughter. Want to learn more..... go to WARNING Video & pictures are VERY hard to watch!!!! Write to McDonald's now, & demand that it phase in the exclusive use of chickens killed by CAK by requiring that its suppliers switch to this method.

McDonald's has been using its notorious clown character, Ronald McDonald, to try to entice people into buying its Happy Meals for years. But most people are very unhappy to find out that the fast-food restaurant & its evil clown are responsible for the slaughter of millions of chickens each year in the cruelest way possible, even though less cruel alternatives exist. This year, PETA is offering evil Ronald McDonald masks that you can use to help speak up for chickens & show the grim world of McCruelty on Halloween. Come on, what's scarier than an evil clown on Halloween? If you haven't started thinking about what you will wear for Halloween, don't worry— we're giving you a head start. We will be giving away a McCruelty pack that includes one Ronald McDonald mask, 16 stickers, & 10 leaflets to share with your friends, family, or fellow trick-or-treaters. If you want to go all out, you may want to check out the latest McCruelty T-shirt. The shirt speaks up for chickens & lets everyone know "you're hatin' it." McDonald's Fake Lincolnfry Blog I'm not lovin' it. McDonald's sent up the whole "Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich was sold on e31 | P a g e

Bay" saga in their Super Bowl ad called Lincolnfry. It is about a French fry that looked like Abe Lincoln. They did a series of two ads. You are introduced to the concept in the first ad & someone buys the fry on eBay in the second ad. I was impressed enough at the time. They push you to a custom Web site a la subservient chicken. They tapped into a popular, humorous phenomenon. The ad series was poorly done however. If you don't see the first ad, the second ad makes little sense. Anyway, I dutifully visited the site & was intrigued initially to see it also had a blog. Then I realized it is a fake blog. Even the post comments are bogus. Boo. Hiss. What's the point? No one in their right mind would believe the blog is real. So while it is not deceptive, it still stinks. The site is so very camp to begin with; the fake blog is simply trying too hard. I suspect that McDonald's is probably already gearing up for next year's Super Bowl. Super Bowl XL? Are you kidding me? It will be a Super Size Super Bowl to be sure.

Historic Shareholder Agreement Reached with McDonald's on Pesticide Use Reduction
First Environmental/Worker Health Shareholder Resolution From College Endowment Prompts Action By Nation’s Largest Potato Buyer

Washington, DC – March 31, 2009 -- Responding to shareholder concerns, McDonald’s Corporation has agreed to formally survey & promote best practices in pesticide use reduction within its American potato supply chain. As the largest buyer of potatoes in the US, McDonald’s commitment will support progress on this important issue, which affects the environment, public health, & farm employees. This agreement led to the withdrawal of a shareholder resolution filed by the Bard College Endowment, Newground Social Investment, & the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund. This was the first shareholder resolution focused on environmental & worker health issues ever to be filed by a college or university endowment. Through this agreement, McDonald’s has committed to: (1) survey its current U.S. potato suppliers; (2) compile a list of best practices in pesticide reduction that will be recommended to the company’s global suppliers (through the company’s Global Potato Board); & (3) communicate findings related to best practices to shareholders, & in the company’s annual corporate social responsibility (CSR)report.
32 | P a g e

The agreement was developed in collaboration between shareholders & McDonald’s, with support from the Investor Environmental Health Network. Bard College student Katherine Burstein, a member of the college’s Committee on Investor Responsibility, said: "The Bard community believes that colleges & universities can leverage their power as investors for positive social change. Through our work with the Responsible Endowments Coalition – which works on responsible investment issues with colleges & universities across the nation – we learned about the measures companies can take to reduce the undesirable effects of pesticide use, & decided to engage McDonald's on the issue.” Newground Social Investment CEO Bruce Herbert, a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Children’s Environmental Health, said: “Because McDonald’s has such a commanding presence in the marketplace, this commitment offers the promise of significant reductions of pesticide use – which will benefit consumer health, as well as farm workers, local agricultural communities, & the environment.” "Consumers, workers & our environment all suffer from over-use of pesticides," said John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO. "As investors, we knew McDonald's could take an important first step & we're ready to work with the company to change & grow." Taun Toay, administrative member of Bard College’s Committee on Investor Responsibility, said: "Bard College prides itself on the progressive education it affords its students. Part of such an education should involve active citizenship, including a willingness to engage companies over issues of concern. Sound environmental policies reflect strong corporate governance & we are quite pleased that McDonald’s is taking further steps in that direction." Dr. Richard Liroff, executive director of the Investor Environmental Health Network, said: “Leadership companies such as Sysco (which supplies Wendy’s), General Mills, & Campbell’s have already demonstrated that pesticide use reduction makes sense from both an environmental health & business perspective. We welcome
33 | P a g e

McDonald’s stepping up to the plate & look forward to supporting the company’s efforts to reduce pesticide use in the future.” Apprenticeships will be made available to all employees at McDonald’s, it was announced today. In 2009 the restaurant chain aims to provide Apprenticeships to up to 6,000 of its 72,000 UK workforce & then up to 10,000 per year from 2010, providing staff with the opportunity to gain a valuable, nationally recognised qualification that is equivalent to five GCSEs grade A*-C. The move will make McDonald’s the UK’s largest Apprenticeship provider. David Fairhurst, Senior VP, Chief People Officer, McDonald’s UK, said: “In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever for employers to invest in their staff. With the service & hospitality sector now one of the biggest employers in the UK economy – over 1.9 million people are employed by the hospitality & tourism sector alone - it’s vital that we & others in the industry invest in skills & training now to ensure the sector is ready to shine when the UK emerges from the downturn.” Following the completion of a successful 80 restaurant trial, McDonald’s will now offer employees across its 1,200 UK restaurants the opportunity to gain a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Multi-Skilled Hospitality. The qualification recognizes job-specific skills acquired through workplace training, combined with GCSE-equivalent Maths & English. McDonald’s will be subject to Ofsted inspections, like any other educational establishment. McDonald’s will be required to meet the same standards & criteria as any other provider, such as schools & FE colleges, & its Apprenticeships will be accredited by leading awarding body City & Guilds. David Fairhurst commented: “We’re proud to take this significant step forward in offering our employees the opportunity to gain another nationally recognised qualification. The success of our Apprenticeship trial, & the national rollout we’re announcing today, show that classroom learning is no longer the only route to new skills & valuable qualifications.
34 | P a g e

“Apprenticeships will help give our employees the confidence & competence to do their jobs to the best of their ability, thus delivering an even better service to our customers. In the last three years we have seen ten per cent uplift in the confidence of our people & offering nationally recognised qualifications has played a key part in this. “And it is not just our people & our business that will benefit. Apprenticeships are also good news for the wider economy. They enable those who use a job at McDonald’s as a stepping stone to another career, to move on to their next job with a valuable, transferable qualification that helps them hit the ground running. “We have put rigorous standards in place to ensure our Apprenticeships deliver real value to our employees & their managers who will invest a great deal of time & effort in completing their qualifications. We’re excited to be in a position to offer Apprenticeships to so many of our people, providing a valuable new opportunity that will help them go further at McDonald’s & in life.” McDonald’s wholeheartedly supports the recent call to action from the UK Commission for Employment & Skills for employers to continue investing in staff training in the economic downturn, & last summer created 4,000 new jobs. Chris Jones, Director General, City & Guilds, said: “McDonald's is a great example of an employer that is committed to lifelong learning & developing its staff. I’ve seen first hand that its employees are really engaged & getting value from their training. Best of all, they’ll not only gain a national qualification, but also learn as they earn. “Apprenticeships change people’s lives. They provide a qualification that’s recognised not just nationally, but internationally too. Apprenticeships are important for UK plc – they grow skills, & enable the UK to be more competitive in a global economy.” Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, the sector skills council for the hospitality, leisure, travel & tourism sector commented: "Enlightened employers like McDonald's are helping to push the skills
35 | P a g e

agenda through innovative programmes that engage & motivate their employees. We fully endorse the McDonald's apprenticeship strategy which offers a nationally recognized qualification that will be valued by other employers in the industry, & offers their staff a significant investment in their career development." This announcement adds another rung to the learning ladder that McDonald’s UK employees can ascend, providing opportunities for all to learn & progress. Qualifications open to McDonald’s employees now include:  Access to nationally-recognised GCSE-equivalent qualifications in Maths & English  Access to Apprenticeships, a vocational qualification gained in the workplace that is worth five good GCSEs  Access to an A-level equivalent Basic Shift Management qualification  McDonald’s also offers management development programmes that enable employees to keep progressing beyond this. Notes to Editors McDonald’s has a proven track record of investing in the development of employees & offering flexibility as part of its commitment to being a modern & progressive burger company. In fact: • McDonald’s was recognised by The Great Place to Work Institute as 1 of the top 50 Best Workplaces in the UK. It first entered the rankings in 2007 & was one of only 5 organisations with more than 10,000 employees to be included • McDonald’s dedicated employee website ‘Our Lounge’ provides everything from online shift scheduling, to career & lifestyle advice & an online learning programmed that leads to nationallyrecognised GCSE-equivalent qualifications in Maths & English. • In 2005 McDonald’s became the first large employer to achieve the new Investor in People Profile status • McDonald’s is one of The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for the ninth consecutive year • McDonald’s was listed in ‘Britain’s Top Employers 2008’ rankings • McDonald’s has been listed as one of the Times ‘Top 50 Companies Where Women Want to Work’ for three consecutive years, since 2006 • McDonald’s was named ‘Best Place to Work in Hospitality’ in 2008
36 | P a g e

80% of restaurant management & one in five franchisees started as crew • The average tenure for a McDonald’s restaurant manager is over 10 years • Restaurant crew can choose the hours that they are available for work in advance & their shifts are scheduled within this availability • Parents can work during schools hours with holidays off, while students can work around college & university, often transferring between restaurants during the holidays • In January 2008 McDonald's was given awarding body status, meaning it is able to develop & award its own qualifications. The first qualification that McDonald’s is offering is an A level equivalent, a Diploma in Shift Management

37 | P a g e

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful