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The Mclibel trial was a court case between McDonald's restaurant limited (plaintiffs) Vs Dave Morris (gardener) and Helen Steel (postman) (defendants) from green peace London.

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Introduction

THE McLIBEL TRIAL CASE STUDY "The best free entertainment in London", according to the daily telegraphy (1994-11-27). The Mclibel trial was a court case between McDonald's restaurant limited (plaintiffs) Vs Dave Morris (gardener) and Helen Steel (postman) (defendants) from green peace London. The case ran for two and a half years and became the longest civil case in British history. The fast food giant McDonald's was suing the campaigners Dave Morris and Helen Steel for libel over a six-page fact sheet entitled "What's Wrong With McDonald's?" Since there is no legal aid in libel cases, Morris and Steel had to represent themselves against top team of libel lawyers employed by McDonald's. The trial began in June 1994 and a verdict was given in June 1997. The judge (Justice Bell) ruled that McDonald's "exploits children" with there advertising, are "culpably responsible" for cruelty to animals and so on. But Morris and Steel failed to prove all points they had made so the judge ruled that they had libeled McDonald's and therefore should pay �60,000 damages. ...read more.

Middle

McDonalds global advertising and marketing budgets is colossal ($1,800m in 1995), and the media partly financed this by advertising and has such would not risk the company's wrath at their peril (media's risk)2. It is alleged that when the independent carried a front-page story about McDonalds secret attempts to negotiate a settlement after only six weeks of the case, the company withdrew �80,000 of advertising from the independent on Sunday. So from this point most of the tabloids and broadsheets adapted a stance to omit certain information about the case as the trial approached. The British media institutions that have been intimidated by the threat of legal action from McDonalds, indicating clout that comes with the burger chains annul $3 billion profit. The lists includes such generally hostile sections of the British press as the Guardian and Channel 4 and underscores the modern media also in losing advertisement revenues. In 1989 Channel4 was forced to apologize in court, and pay McDonalds costs, after showing "jungle burger", in which the sales ...read more.

Conclusion

ITV told her there was 'not enough action'; the BBC did not feel 'sufficiently enthusiastic'; and channel 4 decided to put its resources behind Dennis Woolf. A panal of eight relations professional brought together by the UK marketing industry magazine 'PR Week' have declared that the Mclibel trial and campaign was seventh out of a top twenty of the most effective public relations 'consumer facing' campaign (mostly UK based) of all time4. Such a 'top twenty' is a load of meaningless hype. But the success of the Mclibel publicity and campaign, recognized by the PR industry hacks from PR week, is a testament to the powers or the truth against corporate propaganda and media complicity. In relation of being a record-breaking libel case in British history it did not achieve the recognition it deserved and this could be said because of the injustice and power a corporate company like McDonald's posses over the media. This makes me think does the media only give us information (news) on a limited scale. ...read more.

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