McDonald's Screwed Up Giveaway
March 5, 2004 6:50 PM   Subscribe

McDdonald's gives away $15,000,000 after previous giveaways found fixed. Better get 'em while they're hot!
posted by shepd (28 comments total)
Can I just hang around my neighborhood Mickey D's for the next 48 hours just in case it turns out to be one of the lucky 15?
posted by wendell at 7:00 PM on March 5, 2004

What's up with the 'i am asian' link on the side bar? Goes to a blank verisign page for me.
posted by Leonard at 7:04 PM on March 5, 2004

Uh, your first link doesn't work.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:10 PM on March 5, 2004

It worked for me. But he spelled McDdonald's wrong. Must be the mad cow prions working their magic.
posted by stonerose at 7:22 PM on March 5, 2004

Both links work for me. I noticed the article, dated 2001, mentions:
"McDonald's said it was 'delighted' with the arrests and announced a new $10 million instant cash giveaway, beginning on August 30 and lasting for five days, to make up for the fraudulent games."
I wonder if this is the same giveaway marked up due to the class-action suit?
posted by moonbiter at 7:22 PM on March 5, 2004

this isnt an isolated case , i heard of high ups in a large brewing concern that accidentaly won their own prizes , anyone that works in tv can tell you about this stuff.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:40 PM on March 5, 2004

I fixed the first link. I love that McD's 404 page has the clown on it.
posted by mathowie at 7:40 PM on March 5, 2004

No, actually, the spelling is McDdoNaLDzz as part of their 1337speak/I'm lovin' it campaign.
posted by angry modem at 7:44 PM on March 5, 2004

Ack. Sorry folks.
posted by shepd at 7:45 PM on March 5, 2004

Do you have to actually eat the food, or can you just win the money?
posted by LeLiLo at 7:49 PM on March 5, 2004

Dude. I am not even kidding.

There are around 9,000 McDonalds in the nation.

Average of ten or so people in a given McD's at once, right?

If someone started a national effort to have 9,000 people camp out in all the McDonaldses, they would be almost guaranteed a win, which could be distributed among the participants. Oh wait, that's just $111 a person for staying in McDonalds continuously. Heh heh..
posted by abcde at 8:02 PM on March 5, 2004

You can just win the money lelilo. But you have to hang out in there while you smell all the tasty beef fat cooking french fries! (I LOVE CANADIAN MCDONALDSES! SWEET! They don't give into lame-ass veggie demand [honestly, if you are vegan, you are a moron to eat at McDonald's and expect no beef in your food])
posted by shepd at 8:09 PM on March 5, 2004

a blend of partially hydrogenated fat and oil (beef fat and cottonseed oil)

You know, I don't like cotton with my fries. In fact, until some chemist figured out how to make it a few years ago, I never would have entertained the thought. Now we all eat cotton. Yummy cotton.
posted by stbalbach at 8:25 PM on March 5, 2004

some googling solves the i-am-asian mystery. some blogs mention it unfondly as a exploitive asian as target market ploy. i guess that campaign is over. maybe i didnt hear about it because i am not asian. yes that is the reason.
posted by c at 8:27 PM on March 5, 2004

Why do I find it hard to believe that they will be giving away one of the prizes in Saipan or Surinam?
posted by jeremias at 9:35 PM on March 5, 2004

Apparently, to McDonalds, "Havin' Fun" means clumsy pandering to different ethnicities.
posted by pekar wood at 3:53 AM on March 6, 2004

I am Asian featured cheesy clip-art-worthy photos of Asians having fun on the beach and in other locales with McDonald's litter in every shot. "I'm lovin' it" background music played in the background and links described every mid-level McDonald's executive or owner with a drop of Asian blood. It looked like something they would use to excite prospective Asian franchise owners, not a general ad campaign, and it was dorky rather than offensive.
posted by rcade at 4:41 AM on March 6, 2004

Yeah sure, "randomly" selected. Fool me once . . .
posted by dgaicun at 5:52 AM on March 6, 2004

Is anyone else disturbed that they are "randomly" selecting winners by the hey you method? I read the rules and they have a clause that you are ineligible to win:

If Sponsor so elects, potential winners will be required to submit to a confidential background check to confirm eligibility and help ensure that the use of any such person in advertising or publicity for the Giveaway will not bring Sponsor into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule or reflect unfavorably on the Giveaway, the “Giveaway Entities” (defined below) or Sponsor as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.


A potential winner is not an Official Winner until the participant’s compliance with these Official Rules (including, without limitation, the eligibility restrictions set forth above), has been verified by the independent judging organization.

So basically, they are going to have supposedly independent marketing droids go pick people that look like they are "loving it." They will then run a background check to see if you are squeaky clean. Finally, you get your money and have to sign something that says they own your image, words, and precious bodily fluids in perpetuity.

I could believe that McDonalds came up with this, but cannot believe a court signed off on it. What is wrong with a truly random drawing other than that an undesirable element might win and squander the marketing opportunity? How can McDonalds redress a past rigged game by coming up with a more rigged one?

Who says courts aren't kind to corporations.
posted by jester69 at 6:03 AM on March 6, 2004

Maybe I'll win a treadmill.
posted by the fire you left me at 6:58 AM on March 6, 2004

Too bad this is three years old...
posted by ejoey at 7:34 AM on March 6, 2004

Nevermind, I am dumb
posted by ejoey at 7:38 AM on March 6, 2004

The thing that sucks is that this giveaway was supposed to be a punishment--a way of making them pay out due to a lawsuit. However, they spun it and are now marketing it and will benefit from their punishment. Why the hell didn't the judge just make them give $15M to heart or cancer research?
posted by dobbs at 7:50 AM on March 6, 2004

Why should McDonalds have to give away money to heart/cancer research? I'm no fan of megaglobalcorps but they're doing exactly what the judge told them to.
posted by owillis at 9:39 AM on March 6, 2004

this giveaway was supposed to be a punishment--a way of making them pay out due to a lawsuit.

The giveaway was approved by Judge Stephen Schiller for the settlement in the case of Boland V. Simon Marketing Inc., and McDonald's Corp

posted by thomcatspike at 9:45 AM on March 6, 2004

Boland v. Simon Marketing, Inc., and McDonald's Corporation [PDF]. The objection was that the $10M giveaway announced at the time required a new purchase of McDonald's product in order to be eligible. The settlement's terms are private, but it seems that a key provision was that this giveaway require no purchase. This isn't a punitive-damages award, it's a settlement between the parties, and should be interpreted accordingly. It is a civil lawsuit which has been taken out of litigation, out of the purview of any judge or jury, thus questions of punishment and such are out of order. The judge merely rubber-stamped what the parties themselves worked out.

Don't people know how the legal system in this country works anymore? {grumble}

Of course the money will not be given away in McDonald's locations that did not previously have the sweepstakes in question, e.g. non-US McDonald's, nor would it be likely that a settlement in US courts would be binding on such franchisees.
posted by dhartung at 11:48 PM on March 6, 2004

It's Sunday, and I feel confessional. Those $1.00 double cheeseburgers at McDonald's? Even though I know they are poison and McDonald's is evil incarnate--I love those things.
posted by mecran01 at 3:21 PM on March 7, 2004

So, who won?
posted by calwatch at 12:05 AM on March 9, 2004

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